Thursday, 27 April 2017

Top of the Pops Goes My Love

The autumn chill is already in the air as we reach October 6th 1983, and an edition of Top of the Pops watched by 8.15 million viewers, making it the 8th most popular show on BBC1 this week.

Mike just wouldn't listen when they told him not to stick his finger in the socket...

06/10/83 (David Jensen & John Peel)

Freeez – “Pop Goes My Love” (33)
Performing their follow up to IOU, which was also their final hit excluding remixes, peaking at number 26.

David Bowie – “Modern Love” (2) (video)
Now at its serious moonlight peak.

Depeche Mode – “Love, In Itself 2 ” (26)
The band get all their best instruments out for this one, and it went up five more places. Love In Itself 1 was on the top ten album, Construction Time Again.

Meat Loaf – “Midnight At The Lost & Found” (28) (video)
Taken from the top ten album of the same name, this single peaked at number 17. But the first of three edits from tonight's early showing.

Nick Heyward – “Blue Hat For A Blue Day” (24)
Went up ten more places. But edited out of the 7.30 broadcast.

Howard Jones – “New Song” (13) (video)
Also went up ten more places and also edited out of the 7.30 slot.

David Grant – “Love Will Find A Way” (38)
Leaping about the stage with a 1950's BBC Type A microphone all the way to number 24.

The Alarm – “68 Guns” (19)
A hair raising performance if ever there was one! The song went up two more places,

New Order – “Blue Monday” (10) (rpt from 31/03/83)
Blue Monday peaked at number 12 earlier this year, this second time around it made it to number 9. And here's another chance to see this totally live performance.

Culture Club – “Karma Chameleon” (1) (rpt from 22/09/83)
Third week at number one with no sighting yet of the song that would replace it.

The Rocksteady Crew – “(Hey You) The Rocksteady Crew” (29) (audience dancing/credits)
Became their only top ten hit, indeed their only top 30 hit, peaking at number 6.

Official BBC Top of the Pops thingy

Next up is October 13th.


  1. Two Roman Soldiers get us off this time. They look vaguely familiar though!

    Freez – Pop goes my love – Absolutely no recollection of this at all… A bit jerky and scratchy but not in the ‘IOU’ league.

    David Bowie – Modern Love – Still great…I believe the album version was slightly longer.

    Depeche Mode – Love in itself – Not one I remember from the Basildon boys, but I have heard much worse and there’s some nice instrumentation. Hmmm shall I get my haircut like the lead singer’s? Nah, I don’t think so…

    Meatloaf – Midnight at the Lost and Found – Not one of his best. There’s a ‘Late late Breakfast’ performance on YT.

    Nick Heyward – Blue hat for a blue day – First of two blues on the show!

    Howard Jones – New Song – Speaking of haircuts….

    David Grant – Love will find a way – No sooner has ‘Watching you watching me’ dropped off, we get this…..prefer the song of the same name by Yes.

    The Alarm – 68 Guns – Ouch! Not grown on me this one, gets a rousing cheer at the end though. Another haircut I’ll pass on…

    New Order – Blue Monday – They were proud of that live version weren’t these ToTP folks? 38 weeks on the singles charts this was! Almost in Engelbert Humperdinck territory.

    Culture Club – Karma Chameleon – I know this is the studio performance repeated but I am going to use the opening caption ‘Mississippi’ from the video to embark on a diversion if you’ll all indulge me…
    Mention of ‘Mississippi’ at the start of the ‘Karma Chameleon’ video here leads me onto a topic I have been trying to weave into these updates for a while now, but couldn’t find a link and didn’t want to ‘go random’. Last summer on holiday I picked up a CD of Pussycat’s Greatest Hits in a Charity Shop as I wanted a decent recording of ‘Mississippi’. I put the CD on in the car one day and played it through….

    All I can say is ‘Wow’! Why are this band’s hits not better known in the UK (aside from the two that did make the charts)? We’ve really missed out. The songs are just brilliant and it’s fair to say that they’ve hardly been off my CD player and iPod since. If I had to pick out a handful I’d go for ‘I’ll be your Woman’, ‘On the Corner of my Life’, ‘Rain’, ‘Home’ and ‘If you ever come to Amsterdam’. Best of all would be ‘Another Day’. Have a look at this video for it if you’re interested, and take in the rich melody and the way that lead singer Toni Wille tosses her long blonde hair throughout – it’s so sultry and sexy.

    End of diversion!

    Rocksteady Crew – Hey you – Amazingly this was released on the Charisma label!!!

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    2. Indeed the rare Pussycat video is a good one, and definitely a worthy addition to anyone's iPod. I was not aware of any other hits for them apart from Mississippi, their massive no.1 in the UK in 1976.

      With regard to Meat Loaf, while not the best of his singles due to the non-Steinman presence, I did like the sexy backing singer in the pink hotpants, and that he pulls her at the end. What we did not see is his snog with her at the end which Noel's cameras had to hide, but the full footage from the LLBreakfast Show shows Noel Edmunds rushing up to him at the end, saying 'put her down'.

      It was a similar ending to that of the Dead Ringer For Love video, where Meat Loaf pulls Cher and walks out of the bar with her. Welcome back Meat Loaf!

    3. 'Mississippi' is pretty much the first big song that I remembered loving, and it's still one of my favourites. I know 'Smile' but none of the others - obviously I need to check them out!

    4. Noax - all the songs I mention above are on YT and are well worth checking out!

    5. Charisma had just been taken over by Virgin, hence the radical change of direction. The first Charisma single I ever owned was Lindisfarne's 'Meet Me On The Corner'! When I met that band's drummer Ray Laidlaw much later in Southport, after a concert by his sideline blues band Dust On The Needle, I asked him if he had ever thought of using a rubber fish as a drumstick again, as he had done on Lindisfarne's TOTP debut. His answer, in broad Geordie, was: "Oh no - it's cruelty!"

  2. The Rhythm Pals have been rifling through the dressing up box again, and this time release their inner Roman. Some amusing links ensue, not least the opening one where JP takes the mickey out of Hollywood sword 'n' sandals epics.

    The hosts are just about the best thing in what is musically a very lacklustre edition, definitely one of the weakest of the year. Freeez set the tone with an underpowered and instantly forgettable follow-up to IOU, which did well to get as high as 26 - John Rocca doesn't help matters with his hideous grey cardie. Although Zoo had now been closed down, there are some anonymous studio dancers to do robotics as part of this performance, and they are the most enjoyable thing about it. Depeche Mode certainly did bring out the instruments for this appearance, with Martin boasting a guitar and xylophone as well as his synth, though I didn't notice him actually play the guitar! Again this is an inferior, anonymous follow-up to a first-rate single.

    Meat Loaf returns without Jim Steinman and, frankly, it shows. A mediocre tune, and a fairly uninteresting performance to accompany it, with obligatory motorbikes - this is actually the Late Late Breakfast Show appearance that sct mentions above. Nick Heyward was threatening to become almost as permanent a fixture in the TOTP studio as the FB3 or Showaddywaddy by this point, but this would be his final Top 20 hit. Wisely he ditches the oversize jacket this time, and delivers a pleasingly casual performance.

    Howard Jones' video was good fun, as he and Jed, like a latter day Marx and Engels, encourage downtrodden workers, commuters and schoolkids to throw off those mental chains. This upturn doesn't last long, however, as David Grant then subjects us to his stupid headband and another bland, anonymous offering. Quite why he ended up using that ancient BBC mic as a prop I don't know, but I suppose it does stop him from dancing all around the stage yet again! The Alarm are back, and are clearly pleased to have breached the Top 20, delivering an energetic turn with hair that looks bigger than ever. The Rocksteady Crew play us out - I've never thought that much of this, but it is at least a lot more memorable than most of this week's fare...

    1. Instantly forgettable is the right way to describe Freeez trying to following up their massive summer hit IOU. Erm, is it any wonder that this was to be the last ever single? There were too many things going on that stage in the studio performance this week, all obscuring the lead singer. Definitely a fall from grace for Freeez. Goodbye and goodnight!

      The Meat Loaf performance as mentioned was from the one and only appearance that Meat made on British TV for this new single, choosing to perform on Noel Edmonds Saturday night show instead of the TOTP studio. I managed to find the whole footage of this performance, including Noel coming up to Meat at the end of the performance to beg for a stage name for 69-year old lady desperate to make a name for herself in the big time:

  3. thanks to john g giving notice of the (streaming) vimeo link, i'm primed and ready for this one...

    hosts: i wonder whose idea it was to start wearing various fancy dress costumes for the show? i suspect more likely peel as i'm sure he welcomed any opportunity to cover his thinning pate, regardless of how ridiculous he looked at a result! in contrast, not surprisingly given his crowning glory his partner elects to keep his helmet under his arm rather than on his head

    freeez: a vastly inferior follow-up to their surprise second-wind hit. the drum machine is far too hip-hop-like for my liking, the lyrics are repetitive and inane, and it's quite clearly out of the singer's vocal range at times. plus the guy with the bass guitar is still there, despite it obviously being a synth on the recording

    depeche mode: even the addition of acoustic guitar and vibes fails to enliven the banal fare they continue to churn out

    meat loaf: i'm not sure mr loaf's "bangs" does (or is that do?) him any favours, and i would be very surprised if he ever mounted any of those motorbikes on show here. that reminds me of when rob halford actually rode one onto the stage when i saw judas priest live about five years earlier. but sadly the reality failed to live up to the promise, as no sooner had he got started than he had to stop again!

    howard jones: i wonder if the high profile of jed (here rather amusingly being a school caretaker at one point) worried howard that he was being upstaged? that reminds of scritti politti who at this point in time publically consisted of mainman green and his dreadlocked drummer (that gives me the opportunity to recommend checking out the full-length version of "asylums in jerusalem" that was released around then). then suddenly the latter was no more, and when asked of the reason for his disapearance green explained "i had to get rid of the guy, because everybody thought he was me!"

    david grant: as soon as this was announced i was reminded that i used to quite like the intro before things went somewhat downhill the moment the singing started. and that sentiment remains. it reminds me of an ad i heard ages ago that had a fantastic slinky instrumental groove as a soundtrack, but when i found out the origin of the music in question ("love tko" by teddy pendergrass) i thought the rest of the record was complete rubbish. has anyone else had a similar experience?

    rock steady crew: i suspect there will be one among us who will take much delight from the generous upskirt shots of the lady in black getting on down to this, but who might that be? and i wonder if she was the inspiration for candy floss head of depeche mode getting himself a leather mini-skirt to wear? take out the (c)rapping and this isn't actually too bad, although it's never going to give unique and hot streak sleepness nights when it comes to quality club grooves. by the way, that stuff is nowadays categorised as "boogie" in some quarters, although i have no memory whatsover of it being referred to as such at the time!

  4. Freeez, surrounded by what look like snooker referees doing robotics, which is what this "we've run out of ideas already" number deserved. Bit of a shame, really, and swapping vowels for numbers suggests they never missed an episode of Countdown.

    Ah, a huge, silver crescent moon farting out golden balloons, what a romantic image, Dave. Wait, what?

    Depeche Mode with a real dog's breakfast of trying to play as many instruments as possible in one song. All over the place, and with a truly horrible keyboard solo at the end.

    Meat Loaf making a lot of noise to very little effect, as if volume was the reason people liked his stuff rather than the melodies and production oomph. Sounds like they're singing about "arseholes" near the climax.

    Smart casual for Nick Heyward, the audience are really into this, some are even singing along like they already knew the lyrics.

    Howard Jones and his little friend on video encouraging us to leave the rat race behind, though I wouldn't have thought a presumably self-employed window cleaner would have much motivation to throw off the yoke of the working week. Jed overdoing it with the mental chains throwing off in the Underground.

    David Grant yet again demonstrating that whatever TOTP told him (you can hear the floor manager yelling encouragement at the beginning), he just wasn't that great a dancer. The song is strictly in one ear out the other material.

    Howard Jones is back, oh, my mistake, it's The Alarm, this is more lively, presumably being alarmed was why their hair was like that? No sign of the brass section which gives this song its punch.

    New Order, I wonder if they thanked them for repeating this awkward showing? Gillian competing with Candida from Pulp for most motionless female keyboard player in a band of men.

    Here's one of Princess Bubblegum's Banana Guards to sing the number one - of course not, it's Boy George and friends. Top marks to the audience member who burst a balloon precisely in the gap of a second's silence before the chorus reprise.

    Rocksteady Crew, ah, I love this, one of the most fun of the early hip hop hits, though the video now makes me worry they'll do themselves a mischief. So catchy!

    1. It is indeed very rare that Meat Loaf does a mime to his songs, as he is better known as a live performer, and I don't recall any other mime performance apart from this one, and I'm surprised he agreed to it, but probably the BBC were paying a good purse for it, for Saturday night prime time viewing and millions on British TV watching it.

      In the case of New Order, It is also rare that TOTP repeats a studio performance of a TOTP show 6 months earlier, i.e., March 1983, for Blue Monday. Good Lord!

      There was a bit more of the Rocksteady Crew playout on the late night repeat, but no video as yet.

  5. Did anyone see Bananarama being interviewed this morning on BBC Breakfast news at just before 9am? The girls still look so good nowadays, and were explaining their rise to fame and popularity through the years till now. It's no Cruel Summer after all!

    1. I didn't recognise Siobham Fahey in any of the publicity material. As with Bros, I really can't get excited about a comeback for a band predominantly known for catchy pop singles rather than live performances at all, I'm afraid!

    2. I try not to look at, or listen to, Bananarama if I can help it.

  6. For the first time in ages, this one got the 'delete' button. Not for the hosts, who were fun as usual, but for the combination of good stuff we've already seen + a load of dross. Unfortunate really, when we've been denied much better editions...

    Freeez - Like everyone else so far, I don't think much of this.

    Depeche Mode - Top marks for instrumental effort, but it's not one of their better tunes.

    Meat Loaf - The Jim Steinman stuff is bad enough, but at least I like 2 or 3 of those singles. This is very poor indeed.

    Brief diversion to say that it's a shame that Nick Heyward's been chopped twice from the early edition. I always record the late one, but for those who don't, how about the BBC4 editors stop being lazy and just find 2 or 3 consecutive songs to chop, and *think* about what has or hasn't been on already. For example, they could have got rid of David Bowie instead. Rant over...

    David Grant - Hmmm...want to be Michael Jackson much? Even worse than his other singles, and they're not great.

    New Order - Oh, TOTP, with this repeat you are really spoiling us. I don't think.

    Rocksteady Crew - Best new thing on the show! Some very unconvincing white middle class 'body poppers' here including the one who may or may not be Duncan Norvelle. Despite coming from a VERY white town (albeit with a mixture of classes present) in our school some of my classmates could do body popping properly.

    1. Yes the white dancers were all dreadful and one did look like Duncan Norvelle. This was where TOTP let itself down badly. But I don't think they paid any of the dancers (or so-called cheerleaders) much which is why they keep changing and why they weren't up to much.

    2. News is that it's not Duncan Chase Me Norvelle, it's a bloke called John Goldsmith. Not quite as exciting, but there we have it, a mystery solved.

    3. THX How did you find his name out??

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  8. At a shade under 40 mins this is the longest show in ages and with Peelie and The Kid dressed as pop gladiators it looked to be a very good show. However appearances can be deceptive. While I very much liked and admired IOU Freeeeeeze's follow up was, like New Order's follow up to Blue Monday, a bit half-hearted and feeble by comparison, especially sung live by someone who hasn't got a good voice. And the accompanying robot dancing is really average and embarrassing.

    The faux-live video from Bowie again. I hate the slo-mo bit at the start, I always hate slow-motion in pop videos which is lazily used to suggest something meaningful when it usually isn't. I also hate the bit at the end where Miss Whippy Head accepts a bunch of flowers from an audience member and then flings them back into the crowd. How rude is that?!

    Depeche Mode keep up the good work - In 82 they wanted to find The Meaning Of Love now they are admitting that Love Isn't Enough Itself, at least most of the time. Not entirely sure what that means but I suspect they didn't know either. Still its a corker with lots of weird instrumentation going on - closely miked acoustic guitars, xylophone and a Mike Garson-style wonky piano. Brilliant!

    Then the great lost Meatloaf song. I had no memories of this but as Larry David would say its pretty, pretty good. Simple video and a good band performance with plenty of rock and roll cliches.

    Following the pattern of shedding a backing musician each time now poor Nick H has lost his guitar and thankfully that ill-fitting nasty corduroy jacket. Bathed in blue light he mimes brilliantly (at last) and this sounds for all the world like a classic song but is strangely forgotten now.

    Superb video from Howard Jones who despite looking the wrong side of 30 and a bit squinty without his glasses on puts across the message in the song really well. I remember the video well probably because of Holborn tube station which I went to many times when I worked in London.

    David Grant has clearly seen soul legend Joe Tex doing mic stand dance tricks on Soul Train and tries to copy him but fails miserably. In fact almost every dance move he delivers looks laboured and under rehearsed. It doesn't help that the song is a bit average and we can't really see his face behind the GIANT MIC, not that we could see him at all at the start as he appeared to be in a cloud of dry ice or smoke, poor thing.

    At last The Charts 26 mins in (checks watch like Slimey Bates) and thankfully it's the real chart, no Euro crap this time.

    The Alarm return but do exactly what they did last time only in slightly different clothes. This gets better the more times you hear it. Then a repeat of the dreadful live New Order performance. I think the bit that annoys me most is Gillian when she switches off the drum box at the end and then stands there, looking bored to death. This is your TOTP debut love. Get a grip!

    Then another repeat of Culture Club. I think I began to get a bit bored with them by this point, probably because the novelty had worn off and George was clearly a bit of a control freak and wanted to have the biggest costume, the biggest hat and stand right at the front. And while it's the distinctive harmonica that drives the song its interesting that they keep 30-something session player Judd Lander at the back with only a couple of shadowy close-ups, thankfully when he's not dad dancing.

    Play out with the Rocksteady Crew, a record which seemed to be designed to annoy really quickly. Can't say I care for any of the dancers this week, where's Grant Santino, Philip Tan or the Bill's Jeff Stewart when you need them? Don't answer that.

    1. The Piccadilly line tube trains shown in the Howard Jones video are 1973 stock and (after refurbishment) are still running to this day.