Friday, 5 May 2017

Destination Top of the Pops

This edition of Top of the Pops from October 27th 1983 will not be shown on BBC4 because one of the hosts is DLT. So a big thanks here to Xrayfour for making it available here at Vimeo

I just hope nobody messes my hair up......

27/10/83 (Tony Blackburn & Dave Lee Travis) ~ what, no Halloween antics this year?
If Peel and Jensen had hosted this I reckon they would have at least dressed up as cats....

King Kurt – “Destination Zululand” (40)
Their biggest hit, peaking at number 36.

Lionel Richie – “All Night Long (All Night)” (2) (video)
Just couldn't get that one place higher.

Musical Youth – “007” (41)
Became their only top 30 hit of 1983, reaching number 26.

Olivia Newton-John – tells DLT about her latest film.

Duran Duran – “Union Of The Snake” (4) (video)
The first single from their number one album, Seven and the Ragged Tiger, it peaked at number 3.

The Cure – “The Love Cats” (24)
With perhaps their best known song, which became their first top ten hit at number 7.

Will Powers – “Kissing With Confidence” (27) (video)
This strangeness is Lyn Goldsmith and Carly Simon, and it reached number 17.

Adam Ant – “Puss ‘N Boots” (21)
Perfectly timed for the pantomime season, Puss n Boots was Adam's final top ten hit, peaking at number 5.

UB40 – “Please Don’t Make Me Cry” (12)
Following up Red Red Wine with this number 10 hit.

Culture Club – “Karma Chameleon” (1) (video)
Final week at number one.

Shalamar – “Over & Over” (26) (audience dancing/credits)
Their final top 30 hit, reaching number 23.

Back to BBC4 next for November 3rd.


  1. hosts: apparently tony blackburn's association with radio 1 was soon to finish anyway, but unlike mr as it appens he might have been thinking that he was getting a bit long in tooth for presenting a load of music he no longer had any interest in or liking for? mind you, i don't think that mr as it appens had any interest in music in the first place!

    king kurt: not the kind of thing you'd find in my music collection, but the comic strip/panto element does make it entertaining. talking of the comic strip, i see that adrian edmundson is there on guitar in his vivian of the young ones guise. also it proves that neither the prodigy guy nor the the ex-music reviewer of the independent were first on the block when it came to making a pair of horns out of one's hair

    musical youth: wringing the last out of their 15 minutes before penury, penal sentencing and premature death beckoned. i'm not familar with the original, but this sounded decent enough as far as lightweight pop-reggae goes. i would have preferred john barry's tune of the same name though

    duran duran: not one of their better-remembered efforts, and no wonder as it's flat and lifeless funk with nonsensical lyrics and a tune free-whine on top. russell mulcahy who usually directed their flashy videos was in the process of making his first feature film in his native australian outback among other things. so presumably that was why filming chores were handed over to a henchman, even though this was also shot there?

    cure: having ripped-off new order for their last single, bob and his chums now jump on the cod-swing/jive revival bandwagon as ridden by the likes of carmel. as with others mining that particular seam this never did anything for me, with the lack-of jazz chops by practitioners raised on punk being painfully obvious. the metamorphosis from clean-cut young man to crazed clown serial killer is now seriously gathering momentum, with eye-rolling much to the fore

    will powers: take out the somewhat-annoying novelty element of a woman (sleb photographer lyn goldsmith) talking like a man thanks to the wonders of modern technology, and this is actually quite a nice and tuneful shuffling groover thanks to the contributions of her famous chums - including carly simon who is doing the proper singing, as it appears lyn herself wasn't able to carry a tune in a bucket

    adam ant: now drinking in the last chance saloon, only a couple of years on from being the hottest name in pop. one i only vaguely remember the title of, never mind the actual music. adam's billowing shirt is way past its sell-by date, and he's now beginning to show his age too. but although as usual there's not much in the way of a tune, at least it's a fuller sound than in his heyday. faithful sidekick marco is there as ever, but does anyone know who comprised the rhythm section?

    UB40: i thought we'd hit covers central by now, so this original tune was a surprise re-jogging of my memory. pleasant enough, but singing and sax solo apart it sounds like the whole thing was done by machines

    shalamar: yet another single from them, despite the fact that they were no more by this point so were not going to turn up to promote it personally. just another forgettable so-so effort, thus ensuring that "a night to remember" became the only thing to remember them by

    1. The King Kurt sketch on the show was certainly a bit of pantomime just before Christmas. For starters, there were too many Tiswas-style antics going on that stage. I mean firstly they were too Stray Cats-like in their style, considering that the Stray Cats had just been done and dusted in the summer with their last ever hit Sexy And 17, and it seemed that King Kurt took over from where Stray Cats left off.

      As if this wasn't enough, the guitarist was wearing a tartan kilt or skirt, so were the band Scottish? And then to finish off the tomfoolery, the lead singer gets either treacle or molasses poured over his head towards the end for some feathers to stick onto. Good Lord, it could have been Tiswas on TOTP again!

  2. A shame to lose this one really, since there's a wide variety of stuff on display, some of it good...

    King Kurt - ....but not this. It gets a fair bit of love way out of proportion with its highest chart position, and seemed to be on TOTP2 all the bloody time. I just don't get it I'm afraid.

    Musical Youth - Pleasant enough if not musically stunning. Slightly odd that they were featured on a Donna Summer hit at the same time (and that was a better song!)

    Duran Duran - Not one of their very best, but I still like it.

    The Cure - It is a good song, but I think I've heard it a little too often now.

    Will Powers - I think I fell in love with this as soon as I heard it. The quirkiness appealed to me as a kid, and I still think it's brilliant that Carly Simon agreed to sing on it. There was never going to be a performance of this but fortunately the video is pretty amusing.

    Adam Ant - Not his best single, but worse was admittedly to come.

    UB40 - A bit of a dull plodder, better than 'Red Red Wine' but then what isn't?!

    Shalamar - Sounds the same as all their others to me.

    1. The Will Powers record was quite good and in the style of Black Lace with Superman. It's a pity that Will Powers didn't come over from America to perform in the studio, as it would have been interesting, as like Black Lace, they could have demonstrated how to kiss with confidence by perhaps choosing girls from the studio audience. A chance missed I thought.

    2. I don't think the 2 songs are in any way alike! Even if you argue that 'Kissing With Confidence' is a novelty song, it's not a call & response song requiring everyone to join in like 'Superman' is.

    3. Did the Will Powers lady get interviewed on tv around this time?

      Sure I have a vague memory of her interviewed on Pebble Mill At One of all places!

  3. Oh look, we have some comedians on the show, King Kurt with their hilarious antics of... getting tarred and feathered? Maybe we could have a comedy lynching too? Anyway, an energetic tune, but just makes me think that someone invented The Cartoons fifteen years early.

    Musical Youth, an upbeat version of a more melancholy original, all looking very dapper in their suits, not bad but nothing that would sustain their early fame (obviously).

    Olivia's film Two of a Kind was a complete disaster that made Xanadu look like The Deer Hunter, utter fluff and inane with it. Put paid to her movie career, but not Travolta's (who still had Staying Alive to come, making his continued status as a star to this day somewhat baffling. Must be L. Ron's machinations keeping him afloat).

    Duran Duran, was there supposed to be a story to this? Go on, have a go at explaining what the hell was happening. Anyway, a cryptic single from the boys, some posited it was a trouser snake they were singing about. OK, a bit overdramatic, but you can hear why it's not often revived.

    The Cure, yeah, I've heard this one too often as well, always sounded coy and twee to me, perfect for a crazy cat lady but not up to their best. But it was one of their biggest hits, so what do I know?

    Will Powers, if anything is going to make you paranoid about kissing, it's this record. It was presumably supposed to be funny, but it's inscrutable, and the Americanisms made it stand out for me at the time ("Will your stomach growl?"), though it's extremely well produced and the tune is a solid one.

    Adam Ant, still managing to get hits and this was more of his clever way with a repetitive melody to really get his songs stuck in his target audience's heads. No idea what he's on about, but this was another goodie from him.

    UB40, a mellow track that doesn't make much of an impression, good on them for capitalising on their unexpected number one by rushing this out, but nobody remembers it much, do they?

    Culture Club about to be toppled, and Shalamar with a postscript to end on.

    1. I think Travolta can also give Quentin Tarantino some thanks for spectacularly rebooting his career in the 90s, after a decade or so in the wilderness.

    2. I came out of Pulp Fiction at the cinema and thought, "It was OK but not as good as Reservoir Dogs". Now it's a supposed classic. Same thing happened with The Shawshank Redemption, I emerged from that and though it was nice enough, but nothing special. Now it's one of the greatest films ever made, to my bemusement.

    3. The Olivia Newton John interview with DLT was a good one, and her second time being interviewed on TOTP, since the first when she came in promoting Xanadu in the summer of 1980 where Simon Bates interviewed her that time.

      But here DLT was getting touchy feely as he always does, and quite innocently, as you can see that ONJ liked the attention, but the Beeb are a little too harsh on him. Funny how the DLT editions of TOTP are always the best ones with the most fun and best music on the shows, this show being no exception!

  4. Wow I don't remember that Will Powers video! Has a fascinating dream like quality about it. The only really memorable thing in this show.

  5. Many thanks to Xrayfour for providing the complete edition. This was Tone's last regular TOTP, and in his time-honoured way he seems vaguely baffled for much of the show. Still, his partnership with DLT (himself now just a year away from the exit door) is an affable one. Could have done without DLT's feeble attempt to compare Lionel Richie to King Kurt, however, and the "joke" involving introducing the wrong person to do the chart rundown was laboured, to put it mildly.

    Whatever you think of this King Kurt performance, it certainly isn't boring. Clearly keen to keep the punk flag flying, albeit at the cartoonish end of the spectrum, you can't fault their showmanship, and the song is decent enough as these things go. Something tells me that dressing up a black drummer as a savage and giving him bones with which to beat his skins would not pass muster with the Beeb's compliance department these days - if this show had been on BBC4, it wouldn't have surprised me if they had edited this one out! Musical Youth try to rescue their faltering career by dressing up in dinner suits and unleashing a reasonably faithful Desmond Dekker cover on the world, toasting interlude apart. All very pleasant, but this was never likely to have the impact of a Pass the Dutchie.

    DLT is his normal tactile self as he interviews ONJ (or rather, allows her to shamelessly plug her new film and single), but keeps on the right side of decency. Then Duran Duran are back with a typically grandiose video, and also with an early example of the clunky drum-heavy overproduction that would mar so many records in the mid-80s. Despite this the song isn't so bad, but you can see why it is one of their lesser-played hits, as it doesn't stand out in any way. Vintage mics were clearly having a moment in the autumn of 1983, as both The Cure and Adam Ant have one on this show, and both have feline-themed singles. In contrast to Union of the Snake, Love Cats has been massively overplayed down the years, far more than its modest merits deserve - a real bore, in my opinion. It looks as if early computer graphics went into the Will Powers video, plus some Monty Python-inspired animation. A bizarre record, and the talkie bits get on my nerves, though it's always nice to hear Carly Simon sing - I wonder how on earth she got involved in this?

    If I were Adam I would not wear those shirt sleeves or the hair ribbon in a revolving door! I think this song is a step up on his previous solo efforts, with a seriously catchy chorus and some great drumming and guitar work making it a worthy final Top 10 entry for him. UB40, alas, were nowhere near the end of their chart career and inflict another boring plodder on us here, though at least it isn't Red Red Wine. We finish with Shalamar, though to be honest the song is so generic that it could have been recorded by any of the numerous dance acts around at the time...

    1. What's worse than dressing up a black drummer as a cartoon "savage"? Dressing up a white drummer as a black cartoon "savage". Which was what they did.

    2. It was now exactly a year since Pass The Dutchie took our charts by storm in Oct 1982, and we were getting accustomed to Musical Youth by means of their Laurel & Hardy style antics in their videos, and not for their studio appearances which I think this was only their second time. They must have completed their homework this time, to be let out to the TOTP studio.

      The slick 007 dress style in the studio must have really pleased their mothers back in the Carribean, but also probably Roger Moore if he was watching. Moore is still with us at the age of 89, and will be turning 90 later this year. Now that is cool!

    3. ... that's assuming he doesn't croak before then, which given his advanced age could well happen. original bond sean connery is almost as old and still going too, which proves that like bond himself the actors that play him are virtually indestrustable!

    4. i forgot to mention in my review that when paul anka cashed in on the doing rock-songs-in-a-swing/big band-style thing a few years back, one track was a brilliant bossa nova-styled interpretation of "the love cats":

    5. THX - I didn't realise the drummer was blacked up! That was still just about acceptable then, though I think David Lean came in for criticism the following year when he cast Alec Guinness as an Indian in his film of A Passage to India.

  6. Lionel Richie - Good Lord, none of the above comments included this week's No.2 with Lionel Richie. I wonder why everyone brushed this aside? I agree with Tony Blackburn when he introduced it as his favourite record of the moment, even when it was stuck at No.2. All Night Long was for me the best song of Lionel Richie's solo catalogue, which in general did not live up to heights of The Commodores preceding his solo career. I still love hearing it nowadays, and it just has that feel-good factor about it.

    Duran Duran - A new single and new album following their last hit and No.1 in March called Is There Something I Should Know. The new video for Union Of The Snake was shown a few days earlier on The Late Late breakfast show, where I remember that Noel Edmonds introduced it at the start of his show as the world premier of the video after their long summer break to record a new album. The Saturday night studio audience just sat back and enjoyed the video in full.

    The Cure - did you notice the girl in the studio audience that Tony Blackburn had his arm around when introducing The Cure, that she was looking very nervous by the whole thing? It's difficult to know if it was because of Blackburn, or because of being in front of the camera to 7 million viewers. I think it was the latter, poor dear.

    Adam Ant - as Angelo correctly mentions, it was Ant's final top ten hit, and a very good one in my opinion, especially in the Goody Two Shoes style of TV show performance, although it must have been a different TV show, not TOTP. Does anyone know which show it was?

    And what was it about the current fashion of using the old 1930's BBC microphone to sing? On this show alone, we saw it on The Cure and Adam Ant, and a couple of months earlier The Creatures gave it a go. You could say it was a 20th Century Relic. By the way, has anyone seen 20th Century Relic on this blog?

    UB40 - Good Lord DLT, two songs in the top 20 this week for UB40? Crumbs, this is not on, especially with their new hit (which is complete dross) being at No.12 already. It only got this high because of the success of Red Red Wine, but they should have followed it up with a more punchy number, not this one for Gawd's sake.

    1. I think Adam was in the studio, but was just given a special backdrop, doubtless because the BBC still regarded him at the time as a big star. Regarding Lionel Richie, I said all I had to say about it the last time it was on!

  7. Thanks Xrayfour for this. Another one with few songs of interest to me personally, but great to see the show anyway. A bit of a feline flavour to this show which could lead me once again to wax lyrical about Pussycat’s back catalogue, but I’ve said enough on that subject the other week!

    King Kurt – Destination Zululand – Sheesh! This is bad. The haircuts are just odd! This had gone up a staggering 3 places from 43 to 40 to merit being on the show!

    Lionel Richie – All night long – Well I’ve spelt his surname right this time! Better things were to come from the ‘Can’t slow down’ album….especially the next single which was pure class…

    Musical Youth – 007 – I thought we’d seen the last of this lot, but (Dr) No, they managed to (moon) rake up another appearance. FF

    ONJ / DLT interview – She manages to sidestep the ‘dressed very scantily’ comment from DLT as it was probably wise not to go there! ‘Two of a kind’ featured a Chicago track ‘Prima Donna’ which later made it to the ‘Chicago 17’ album

    Duran Duran - Union of the Snake – First, and worst single from’ Seven and the Ragged Tiger’. Was there a conscious effort to hold back the best I wonder? I recall at the time feeling this was an anti-climax although clearly the video had a lot of effort put into it.

    The Cure – The Love Cats – At last! A Cure single that I liked. Katie Melua included this in her live set for a while showing the song’s durability. Very unusual and ingenious sound.

    Will Powers – Kissing with confidence – One of those truly annoying records. FF

    Adam Ant – Puss in Boots – This is another reasonable effort from Stu with some very Phil Collins sounding drums. Not quite the ‘Goody two shoes’ performance but impressive nonetheless.

    UB40 – Please don’t make me cry – It did. Very dreary.

    Culture Club – Karma Chameleon – Time to wheel out the video again after massed showings of the band’s one studio trip.

    Shalamar – Over and over – Made no impression on me at all and I don’t even recall it. Much prefer Fleetwood Mac’s (Christine McVie) song of the same name that opened up the ‘Tusk’ album

    Looking at some of those that never got on ToTP (unlike King Kurt) I find the Carpenters posthumous Karen Carpenter single ‘Make believe it’s your first time’ at no60 and rising – that would have been a nice tribute to have featured on the show since she sadly passed away earlier in the year.

    1. sct your musical youth puns have reminded me of josef venglos, a guy with a doctorate qualification whose czech team did well in the 1990 world cup. as a result he was appointed one of the first foreign managers in the english club game by aston villa, but failed to repeat his success - which led to villa fans dubbing him "dr no"!

  8. Shakey Shakerson7 May 2017 at 12:39

    At last, something that resembles a decent show, although it didn't look like it from the first act, the unappealing King Kurt. The performance was hampered by the gloomy lighting, and if the sound had have been equally down in the mix, then I would have been much happier.

    Musical Youth. It's not bad, just a touch boring - again the static camerawork doing no one no favours.

    But then the show starts to motor.

    Duran Duran. Yes its very reminiscent of The Reflex and their future Bond-theme View To A Kill, and yes it was over-produced, and yes the video was pretentious nonsense (like an Egyptian version of their Rio-era hits) but for all that I quite like it. No idea why.

    From 'like' to 'love' with this one - one of my all-time favourite 80s songs. Bobs wonderfully whimsical vocals, the discordant music, and the slow throb of the double bass still make me smile to this day.

    Will Powers. Lets face it, its the really rather excellent Carly Simon voice that sells this record. The instructional/self-help tape spoken verses grated then, and they do now, but time has mellowed me on this one. Not quite 'love' but certainly good enough to warrant not FF-ing it.

    Adam takes one more trip to the Hit Song Well, but the well is running dry. Quite why he thought it was a good idea to keep on with the pantomime thing for his singles I have no idea, but this is really derivitive pap and the shoehorning of the 'pussycat pussycat' into a too-short syllable space was irksome.

    And then my favourite song of the show, and one which has garnered little in the way of adulation from the rest of you heathen lot. Please Don't Make Me Cry is a solid gold classic and boasts one of the sweetest, under-played sax solos of all time. Thoroughly enjoyed hearing it again. And shame on you all for disparaging it.

    Culture Club outstaying their welcome and Shalamar who weren't really welcome at all with this attempt to milk their fan base for a bit more moolah.

    Scores. Our hosts were below average in the jolly japes department and they both dropped points for their countdowns - The Yewtree'd Cornflake for frequently saying 'this week' during his (of course its this week - wouldn't make sense for it to be last week or next week would it?) whilst Blackburn was just boring and didn't alternate the title/act/position in his. 4.

    With the awesome piece of joy that was Please Dont Make Me Cry on show, alongside Love Cats and Unuion Of The Snake, I am more than happy to give this a 7.

  9. has anyone else noticed our old chum paul nicholas popping up in "just good friends" on tv that night? his character was a good deal younger than paul himself - the guy playing his dad was only seven years his senior!

    also: note the cash-in on the snooker boom of the early 80's with a drama serial based around the game (which at this point despite its success still had an association with its somewhat-shady working-class roots)

    1. sorry - i posted this for the wrong show!

  10. To me King Kurt always looked like Madness after a really bad makeover. They owe a bitt o Tenpole Tudor as well. I recall that they gave interviews where they talked about their legendary live shows where they would dare the audience to do mad things like have a King Kurt haircut or drink a pint of beer laced with random bodily fluids (not a good idea). The music seemed to come a really poor second with this lot.

    Musical Youth jumping on the ska bandwagon three years too late. Not a bad version of the Desmond Dekker classic but nothing special.

    I started to dislike Duran Duran at this time and I think this video was largely to blame. The stories in the videos never made any sense and were always style over content directed by someone who had seen Mad Max too many times.

    By contrast although I never bought it I did very much like The Cure song although the band's image was always a bit off-putting, great fun though.

    Will Powers had novelty written all over it but is a good novelty song. I never quite understood it and the video looks really cheap and nasty now but it still sounds credible.

    Adam Ant raids the dressing up box one last time, and comes up with something pretty average. Once again I think the video with Lionel Jeffries and Co helped sell the song.

    While I loved the original reggae songs that UB40 were covering I remember thinking their versions were a bit lacklustre by comparison. But hearing this again today I can't believe how good it is. I remember the video where Ali and his brother Robin were ironically fighting.

    George and Co's last week at number one and play out with yet another Shalamar record.

  11. A shame that it has taken me so lng to watch this. One of the best for variety for a while - didn't necessarily like all, but hardly fast forwarded.
    Don't remember the Musical Youth or UB40 tracks. I had forgotten what fun the Will Powers video was.

  12. Hi everyone, the Vimeo link doesn't work anymore. I've missed this one - could anyone please re-post the 27-10-1983 show? Many thanks in advance! David