Thursday, 13 April 2017

Disappearing Top of the Pops

Top of the Pops August 25th 1983 will not be shown on BBC4 because one of the hosts is Mike Smith. So a big thanks goes to Calvin Henderson for making it available here at Youtube.

Just what you need for a hot summer night ~ a string vest.....

25/08/83 (Simon Bates & Mike Smith)

David Grant – “Watching You Watching Me” (10)
At its peak.

Rod Stewart – “What Am I Gonna Do (I’m So In Love With You)” (27) (video)
The follow up to Baby Jane peaked at number 3.

Carmel – “Bad Day” (26)
Peaked at number 15.

Jonathan King - US chart rundown :
The Police - "Synchronicity I" (live clip)
Stevie Nicks - "Stand Back" (video clip)
Michael Sembello - "Maniac" (video clip)
The Police - "Every Breath You Take" (live clip)

UB40 – “Red Red Wine” (9)
On its way to number one.

Shalamar – “Disappearing Act” (28)
Peaked at number 18.

Level 42 – “The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)” (14)
Went up four more places.

The Style Council – “Paris Match” (3)
The flip side of the 12 inch of Long Hot Summer, which was at its chart peak.

KC & The Sunshine Band – “Give It Up” (1) (audience dancing/credits)
Third and final week at number one for the band's only number one.

Next we finally return to BBC4 for Spetember 1st 1983.


  1. Couldn't really find much to enjoy on this week's show after the superb show from the week before with DLT.
    Well, this one had both Mike Smith and Jonathan King on it, a big no-no for BBC4.

    Good to see the JK slot back after a long break on TOTP since the beginning of June, i.e., nearly three months off our screens in 1983! I really liked Michael Sembello's hit called Maniac from the Flashdance album which I proudly have and occasionally listen to, and this one really stands out on the album I must say.

    Level 42 - I think this was the hit that kickstarted their career into the big time, after some initial failures on TOTP with earlier hits. This one really does come off well in the grand scheme of things, in a show that found it hard to live up to the previous week's TOTP with DLT. Nice to see lead singer Mark King sharing lead vocals with one of his band members which is where I think the group's fortunes changed.

    KC & The Sunshine Band - with three showings of the same studio performance already, and with no video ever made for this song unusually (as KC regularly made videos for all his previous hits), a weary TOTP had to make him the playout this week, and rare for TOTP to make the no.1 song a studio-dancing playout, but he should have made a video, so there is no reason to complain.

  2. hosts: oh dear, it's slimy and smarmy - not a combination for those with weak stomachs!

    david grant: i wonder if his mum made him that crocheted girly top? and if he specially shaved his chest to wear it?

    rod stewart: one that passed me by completely, rather surprisingly as i thought the "rio" rip-off video would have lingered in my mind if not the tune (no surprise on that front). sorry rod, much as you might like to think otherwise, you and your scrawny band are no match for duran duran in the pretty boy department!

    carmel: more cod-jazz that was seen as so achingly hip at the time. more like "bad song" as far as i'm concerned!

    usa segment: as if the deadly combination of bates and smith wasn't enough, we now have to endure someone who is arguably even more repulsive! the police's "synchronicity i" was one of the best tracks of that album, but here it's so speeded up that stewart copeland sounds like a duracell bunny; stevie nicks looks quite good but her voice doesn't really suit the synth-heavy backing; that girl who king rather unfortunately has his arm around sounds as english as he does; like stevie, michael sembello manages to make synth-pop sound bland in the way that only americans could

    ub40: if only i had a pound every time i heard this! realising they were almost certainly bound to sign again the way things were going, blanding out with covers on autopilot presumably gained them a whole new fan base if perhaps lost them existing any existing ones remaining? not that anyone was familar with the original of this at the time of course - that included the band themselves, who essentially did a note-for-note re-recording of a reggae single by a guy called tony tribe. it was apparently only after it became a hit that they realised the "diamond" credited as the writer on the reggae version was in fact neil!

    shalamar: it seemed they was imploding at this point, so apart from the title of this single being most appropriate, i suppose the boys didn't have to try to hard to look disinterested. not the greatest moment to finish on, with whatever tune there being buried under an avalanche of synth drums. not to mention lead vocals by the dreadful jody watley

    level 42: mike lindup looks much better (and about 5 years younger) without the dodgy tache, although he can't quite bring himself to ditch the afro as yet. i've said before that the track sounds like two songs in one, and the clumsy title with parentheses doesn't help in that regard. the "standing in the light" album from whence it came (that was mostly produced by earth wind & fire members verdine white & larry dunn, who had become admirers of the band) had far superior stuff on it to this

    style council: blimey, i found myself quite liking this. even the modfather actually sounded quite sensitive throughout most of it, although he couldn't help bellowing a bit at the end. that stupid suedehead haircut still makes me want to smash the guy in the face though! that most unlikely-looking pop star mick talbot sounds very much like jools holland when he joins in on the joanna with bands on his "later" show

  3. Miles behind in my viewing, but watched this on YouTube out of sequence.

    Don't think I've ever herd half of these!

    David Grant - Never heard before - not impressed.

    Rod Stewart - Surprisingly, don't know the song at all. Will need to check whether it has appeared on compilations. Quite weak for him.

    Carmel - Never heard before. Written by the band? That must have stretched them - really tedious!!

    Jonathan King - Weird! I was at that Police concert!! (is thta what they call Synchronicity?)
    Do ALL Stevie Nicks videos have her hair in backlight, followed by longshot of flowing garments?...

    Shalamar - another unheard, tedious drone.

    Style Council - As they had most of their success in 1983, I never really saw much of them. This sounds like an album track rather than a single. Strange haircut!

    Well there we are - now back to March....

    1. Charlie - I assume you avoided an encounter with JK during the concert?

    2. Ha ha! Too old :-) Went to several concerts that year - interesting to see if he pops up again

  4. With KC & The Sunshine Band making their last ever appearance on TOTP this week with what was to be their final hit, the big news is that they will be performing in the UK on Sunday 2nd July 2017 for the first time in 18 years, since 1999 in fact, and playing all their famous hits at Koko in Camden, London. Sounds to me like one of the best tickets to buy this summer. Roll up, roll up!

  5. We have to put up with the most unappealing combination of Master Bates and Smitty for this live show. In fairness they aren't too bad overall, but Smitty seems weirdly overwhelmed by the fact they are live, and is still prone to annoyingly exaggerated facial expressions. Baffingly, he also appears to think that this mediocre David Grant effort is one of the greatest summer hits of all time. The man himself is back in the studio, adding to his fashion crimes with that ripped string vest while going through his increasingly dull dance moves one more time - not a good idea to make this the opening song for the second time in three shows, either.

    Roderick takes to the high seas for this decent enough follow-up to Baby Jane, though the synths sound a bit tinny. Like David Grant, he obviously thinks that vests and head bands constitute the look of the moment, regardless of how much of a numpty they make you appear! Bates tells us that Carmel is going to be a megastar, and promptly hexes her career. In truth, I can't really understand his enthusiasm for this so-so bluesy ballad, where the backing singers easily outshine Carmel herself - the hair doesn't look great, either.

    JK is at Shea Stadium, but after promising us the Top 5 only gives us 5,4 and 1! Stand Back is taken from Stevie Nicks' second solo album, The Wild Heart. By this point cocaine addiction was beginning to take its toll both on her voice and her songwriting abilities, and this is a sadly lumpen, forgettable effort. Maniac is better, but I wonder if this was the official video for it as it reuses many of the same clips from Flashdance as were featured in the What a Feeling promo. We also get some live snippets of The Police, now very much at the summit of their career, and sounding pretty good.

    Back to the studio, and into probably the most boring number 1 of the decade. As Wilberforce mentions above, UB40 had no idea when they recorded this that it was a Neil Diamond song, but his country-tinged version knocks spots off this ultra-bland, insipid effort. Quite how this, and all their future MOR cover versions, came to be quite so popular is one of the great pop mysteries as far as I'm concerned. Bates tells us that Shalamar might be splitting, but in truth they had done so nearly two months previously by this point. This pre-recorded performance is peculiarly staged, with Jeffrey and Howard crouching down for pretty much all of it, which just looks weird. The song itself is decent enough, but let down by clunky overproduction which would become an ever-increasing feature on a lot of records in the middle part of the decade.

    In a night full of new studio performances, Level 42 return for another outing, and then Weller, trying to look sophisticated in his white cardie, turns crooner for what appears to be a live performance. It's impressively done, but the song just lacks a hook to really make it memorable - at least I now know that A Paris was an EP title, courtesy of Bates and our own sct! An impressively packed studio dances along to KC as the credits roll, but I was intrigued by Bates' mention, following his pointless Stray Cats "interview," of the marathon Rock Around the Clock show on BBC2 the following Saturday. I have looked on the Genome site to see if it has any more details, but apart from a very long list of credits it doesn't provide much enlightenment. It seems to have been connected to Whistle Test, from what I can see, but does anyone actually remember watching it at the time?

    1. I didn't watch Rock Around the Clock on BBC 2, but I wanted to, I was just too young to stay up that late. It was a mishmash of videos, documentaries and concert footage, some of it voted on by the public, real event TV for music lovers.

    2. Thanks THX - I guessed it was probably something like that. I've had a quick look on YouTube, but there is very little of it on there. I see BBC2 did it again the following year.

  6. I scoffed at the idea before, but that really is Duncan Chase Me Norvelle in the audience, isn't it? He looks a bit older than the others, but throws himself into the dancing. When did he become famous, again? Must have been about this time.

    David Grant, not even your Leroy from Fame jumping splits can impress, I don't know why they kept enthusing over his moves, unless they were being polite (quite possible). Now when this song next pops into my head, this is the image that will go with it.

    Rod Stewart with a forgotten hit, nice enough, wistful midtempo number, but I note that Rod is wearing eyeliner and there's not one female on the boat - was he feeling OK? This was the reason, one of many, that the Marc Almond urban legend was applied to Rod in the States, which is farcical when you think about it.

    Carmel, that megastar, they called Adele the new Carmel, didn't they? Er, no, Simon, they didn't, and with that offputting vocal no wonder. Not a pleasant listen. Keep it in the wine bar.

    JK's pick of the yawnfests, the Stevie Nicks track is utterly colourless, and I didn't need to hear the Police hit again. The Flashdance hit was marginally more interesting, but obviously written to a formula.

    UB40 begin their descent into covers band, thanks to the success of this and their Labour of Love album. They became heroes in Jamaica for covering so many of the nation's hits that the original artists finally saw a lot of royalties, so you can't begrudge that. Pity the music wasn't more interesting, this is nice enough, but a bit pub band.

    Shalamar, or rather Jody trying out her solo career. Yet another song of theirs built around a familiar phrase, presumably if they had stayed together we'd have hits called Get Well Soon or Now Wash Your Hands. Musically, unexceptional, but not offensive.

    What's that, Level 42? Yes it's still the 80s, so references to atom bombs are very much the in thing, carry on.

    The Style Council, ah, now we know why we only hear Long Hot Summer off this EP. All a bit "welcome to Jazz Club", better than Carmel, but in need of a decent tune.

    Then KC to end on.

    1. If Duncan wasn't already famous by this point, he soon would be, and would indeed host the unscreened Blind Date pilot within the next year or so. A few interesting facts about him emerged from a quick browse of Wikipedia - he is actually straight, with three children by three different women, while he also suffered a stroke a few years ago from which he is now happily recovered.

    2. A friend of mine went to see a sort of boozed up "masters of darts" event one evening and was surprised to see Duncan was the compere. Now there's a night of entertainment.

  7. That Smitty again but thanks Calvin for the YT post for us to view…

    David Grant – Watching me watching you - ….or not.

    Rod Stewart – What am I gonna do – Rod is Sailing once again. Nice follow up to ’Baby Jane’. Once more its competition time on the single’s sleeve to win a £50 Adidas Gift Voucher, which I guess must have been quite worthwhile in 1983. After the obligatory three questions about Rod, competition entrants were invited to complete the phrase “Rod Stewart and Adidas always hit their goal because…”. The funniest suggestion on 45Cat is “..neither of them play for Spurs”.

    Carmel – Bad Day – Don’t remember this shouty song and don’t particularly like it. Carmel did not turn out to be huge after all.

    JK slot – How did Stevie Nicks not chart here with the excellent ‘Stand Back’? Nice live clips of Sting and Co to whet our appetites.

    UB40 – Red Red Wine – Had No1 written all over it. I loved the 7” version but was disappointed when I heard the 12” and it had rapping on it.

    Shalamar – Disappearing act – Rapidly disappeared with FF.

    Level 42 – Living it up – Still bouncy after all these years. Mark King looks so chuffed to be on ToTP.

    Style Council – Paris Match – Rather this than Weller’s chest in the video for ‘Long hot Summer’ and it’s not a bad song, if a little repetitive near the end. Nice tinkling piano.

    KC – Give it up – ToTP were obviously getting bored with this as we just play out with audience dancing this time. Their wish for a new no1 would be granted next week….

    1. Indeed, and we were never to see KC & The Sunshine Band ever again in the charts after this song ended its run in the charts.

    2. everyone knows that rod stewart supports the scottish national football team (or did), despite not actually coming from scotland. but did he support a club? a friend of mine lives in highgate, and once pointed out the shabby terraced house on the archway road that rod was born and grew up in as we walked past it. so if he had supported a local team, it would presumably have been the gooners?

    3. Rod supports that well known London team, Celtic.

    4. thx as presumably a true scot, do you find cockney rod's support of your national team (and a scottish club team as well it would seem, rather than one from his own manor) rather embarrassing?

    5. I couldn't give a toss about football, Rod can support Real Madrid if he likes, but I do find it a bit bemusing that fans can back a team so far from where they live. Frank Skinner's theory that you should support the team closest to you geographically seems sensible, but try telling that to the average Man U fan. Anyway, Rod's parents were Scottish, so I suppose it rubs off along the way.

    6. it was only rod's father that was actually scottish (his mother was english), so he has even less reason for his passion for scottish football teams in that respect. when i lived in london in the 80's and 90's i knew a couple of guys who were born and raised in the area and had english accents. but because they had irish parents, whenever england played eire at football they always supported the latter - to an almost fanatical extent!

      as for my own "allegiance", i grew up in a place where the nearest football team of any note was more than 50 miles away. so like others there i was free of the "yoke" of being obliged to support the local team (through thick and thin, or in most cases through thin and thinner!) and could choose one that appealed regardless of their location. so many of my peers plumped for man utd or chelsea, whilst i myself went for west ham for the following reasons: i liked the colours of their strip, and i thought geoff hurst was a really cool guy!

      and before i moved to manchester (nearly 20 years ago now), like others i believed the myth that the M6 was clogged up every other weekend with "fans" travelling up to old trafford from such faraway places as london and cornwall, whilst the locals all supported city. but the fact is that in my time in the rainy city i've met a lot more united fans than city ones!

  8. Shakey Shakerson17 April 2017 at 12:17

    Not the greatest show in the world this one with little to recommend it.

    Smith & Bates are the blighters in charge so that's a bad start right there, and the first act is David Grant which does little to make things better.

    Rod is up next in a direct lift off Duran's Rio vid. I don't actually mind this, and compared to Baby Jane it's positively Beethovenesque.

    Carmel is the latest recipient of the ToTP Mystic Meg curse and, far from being the nest greatest thing, she promptly disappeared from our lives forever. Judging from this forgettable, lacklustre offering, its not hard to see why.

    The JK In America section feature Maniac which I really liked at the time possibly because of the sexy Flashdance scenes in the vid. Unfortunately, Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons has effetively killed that one for me.

    UB40. In three years they went from the likes of Food For Thought and The Earth Dies Screaming to this. That's just thirty six months! Even Leyton Orient took longer than that. Has any other act gone from being so lauded to so derided in such a short time?

    Shalamar with the literally literal Disappearing Act. Dross.

    Level 42. Still no likee.

    Style Council. Not a patch on Long Hot Summer, but at least Weller kept his shirt on this time.

    KC still number 1 somehow, but we are all bored with it now so it's used as a playout.

    Scores. Hosts. Bates was his usual inept self; Smith only slightly better. 4.

    Musically. When the best song on offer is a Rod Stewart mid-tempo offering, you know we are in low-scoring territory - 3.

    1. believe it or not, carmel actually managed to release several albums in the 80's. i know this because i picked up most of them on quite rare CD pressings for next-to-nothing at a car boot a while back. not that i listened to any, as i only bought them to flog them on again at some profit to those who deluded themselves she was any good!

  9. Given that I'm in a foul mood today for reasons that I won't bore you with, I picked a bad time to watch this stinker of a show. I'll just stick to the stuff we haven't seen before.

    Rod Stewart - Usually I'd say that this was average fare, but in a show full of dross it probably ranks slightly above that!

    Carmel - I know that this song gets a lot of love but it doesn't do anything for me I'm afraid. She does admittedly have a great voice.

    JK segment - Nothing particularly interesting here, 'Maniac' is alright I suppose.

    UB40 - Utterly horrible tripe.

    Shalamar - Thank goodness their bland soul will soon be gone from the charts.

    The Style Council - Seriously, why did they bother with this? Bloody awful dreary nonsense.

  10. Any chance of this appearing on WeTransfer?