Thursday, 8 June 2017

Top of the Pops Countdown

Welcome to January 5th 1984 and your vowels and consonants are T O P O F T H E P O P S ~ let's see what you can make out of those!

No, you must've misheard me, this song is about having a big election.......

And it's the big numbers only from now on ~ the Top 30 countdown has been expanded to the Top 40!
05/01/84 (20th anniversary edition) (David Jensen & John Peel with brief appearance from Alan Freeman)

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – “Relax” (35)
It's a live show and what a way to start a year! Relax would soon be banned of course, but it didn't matter, this record had number one written through it like a stick of rock, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood were poised to take 1984 by storm.

Rod Stewart – “Sweet Surrender” (32) (video)
Peaked at number 23, but edited out of tonight's 7.30 showing.
John Peel then introduces some clips from the 1960's, which somehow also included Thin Lizzie and Sweet from 1973, possibly because they were in black and white:

The Rolling Stones – “Let’s Spend The Night Together” (clip from 26/12/67)
Procol Harum – “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (clip from 26/12/67)
Lulu – “Love Loves To Love Love” (clip from 26/12/67)
Engelbert Humperdinck – “The Last Waltz” (clip from 26/12/67)
The Alan Price Set – “Don’t Stop The Carnival” (clip from 15/02/68)

These next ones were edited out of the 7.30 showing:
Peter Sarstedt – “Where Do You Go To My Lovely” (clip from 27/02/69)
The Hollies – “Sorry Suzanne” (clip from 27/02/69)
Brotherhood Of Man – “United We Stand” (clip from 29/01/70)
Edison Lighthouse – “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” (clip from 29/01/70)
Jonathan King – “Let It All Hang Out” (clip from 29/01/70)

But we did see these:
Jethro Tull – “The Witch’s Promise” (clip from 29/01/70)
The Dave Clark Five – “Everybody Get Together” (clip from 26/02/70)
Thin Lizzy – “Whiskey In The Jar” (clip from 01/02/73)
The Sweet – “Blockbuster” (clip from 01/02/73)
The Beatles – “All You Need Is Love” (‘Our World’ clip 1967) ~ the fab four's only appearance in the TOTPs studio came on June 16th 1966, when they performed Paperback Writer, and Rain. But, alas, long since wiped.

Status Quo – “Marguerita Time” (5)
Went up two more places - but was edited out of the 7.30 broadcast tonight.

John pays a little tribute to fellow DJ Alexis Korner, who had died on News Years Day, and who had played on the TOTPs version of Whole Lotta Love, and then we delve into the 70's for some more classic clips:
Deep Purple – “Black Night” (clip)
Slade – “Coz I Luv You” (clip from 27/12/71)
Ashton, Gardner & Dyke – “Resurrection Shuffle” (clip from 27/12/71) edited out
Wizzard – “Ball Park Incident” (clip from 27/12/73)
Alvin Stardust – “My Coo Ca Choo” (clip from 15/11/73)
Gary Glitter – “I Love You Love Me Love” (clip from 15/11/73) edited out
Roxy Music – “All I Want Is You” (clip from 04/10/74)
Bay City Rollers – “Bye Bye Baby” (clip from 25/12/75)
Cliff Richard – “Devil Woman” (clip from 25/12/76)
Ian Dury & The Blockheads – “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” (clip from 25/12/79)
Gary Numan – “Cars” (clip from 25/12/79)
Paul McCartney – “Coming Up” (video clip)
Soft Cell – “Tainted Love” (clip from 13/08/81)
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – “Come On Eileen” (clip from 15/07/82)

Frank Kelly – “Christmas Countdown” (26)
Feck! It's filthy Father Jack Hackett from Father Ted, with a considerably cleaned up version of his X rated interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas. Number 26 was its peak though ~ Arse!

Slade – “My Oh My” (2)
At its peak now.

The Flying Pickets – “Only You” (1) (video)
Final week at number one.

Kool & The Gang – “Straight Ahead” (19) (audience dancing/credits)
Peaked at number 15.

Today's BBC1 schedule

It's January 12th 1984 next.


  1. Frankie GT Hollywood – first appearance on TV without their girls in black underwear that we got accustomed to on two occasions on Channel 4’s The Tube during the course of 1983, but this debut TOTP appearance without the sexy underwear was quite a good one, but I still think that if Mike Read had not banned them on his Radio 1 show, that they may not have even troubled the top 10, let alone get to No.1 for 5 weeks!

    Alan Freeman interview – I thought that Freeman was very Norman Wisdom-like in his demeanor this week. Go on, get orff!

    Vintage clips – my favorite from the Dec 1967 black-and-white clips was The Last Waltz by Engelbert Humperdinck. Just superb, and classic vintage.
    Has anyone got this show in full, as BBC4 edited out the clips from Peter Sarstedt up to and including Jonathan King, and then to add fuel to the fire, they also edited out Gary Glitter clip from 1973? Would be nice to see an un-tampered show if anyone has it.

    Top 40 rundown – Good Lord folks, for the time in these reruns since the 1976 shows, we see a Top 40 chart rundown on TOTP, and not a top 30. What brought this on I wonder? Alan Freeman?

    Frank Kelly – “Christmas Countdown?” Not on your nelly Mr Kelly. The countdown to Christmas was two weeks earlier, so how is this arriving in January as a new entry at No.26?? Good Lord, it was a month too late Mr Kelly!
    Each to their own I say…

    The Video Top Ten – this seemed to be regular feature on the show with the Peel & Jensen duo, as the other DJs and duo’s had no interest in such a video rundown for the top ten.

    1. From memory I don't think the Top 40 format started until 1978 so they can't have done it in 1976. It was always the Top 30 until then but for some reason after 1978, even though they did the Top 40 Countdown on Tuesday luchtime and played the 40 on the Sunday radio show, on TOTP it was always just the 30 until this show. I always assumed that was because they didn't have time to read all the names out but clearly they changed their minds by 1984.

    2. Glenn Marshall's put the full show up at

  2. i presume this is the place to put comments about "the story of 1984"? two things stood out for me: that i never knew david essex was a member of frankie goes to hollywood (!), and that the beeb (possibly on the advice of interviewee and "smash hits" journo debbie voller?) managed to dig up some rare footage of sade's pre-fame band pride on the "oxford road show". talking of which, why aren't they repeating those? even though it was a direct rip-off of channel 4's "the tube", it was still essential viewing if you wanted to see the hippest new acts in action - rather than old farts like slade and quo that were still clogging up totp!

    i can't say i like these anniversary shows at all to be honest, as they're just an excuse to show the same old clips that the beeb somehow managed to save from being wiped. and (frankie apart) it also demonstrates that the new year is as ever a fallow period, with xmas leftovers and little else of interest

    1. I thought The Story of 1984 was pretty great, a fine array of well-chosen clips and a very decent overview of the trends. Never noticed the Village People connection to Hi Energy until Ian Levine pointed it out!

    2. I think the various "Story ofs" have been getting better and better over time, and this was probably the best one yet, witty, informative, wide-ranging and with some good interviewees like Trevor Horn. The selection on Big Hits was pretty good too, for the most part.

  3. Interesting to see the Dr Who story Warriors Of The Deep started tonight. This was the return of the Sea Devils and The Silurians. I remember it as one of my favourite Peter Davison era stories mainly because it was just so daft - some of the humans are wearing jackets that were designed by someone who had seen Michael Jackson's Thriller video too many times and they all sport far too much eyeliner (and that's just the men!). Also it features the most cumbersome, un-scary monster in the history of the show. A classic!

    1. Turn it the other way round, and I would say that Michael Jackson's Thriller video got its ideas from Dr Who.

    2. The sea monster in that story was notoriously operated by the same duo who did Dobbin the panto horse on Rentaghost. Ingrid Pitt was in this one too (she operated herself). Very typical 80s DW ending where it all goes horribly wrong and nobody wins. No wonder Grade wanted to axe it.

    3. Oh, and Ingrid's death scene was one of the most embarrassing in all of DW, I remember us laughing about it in the playground the next day. Fair enough, she didn't want to hurt herself falling over!

    4. peter davison was my shark-jumping doctor - i was probably far too old for it already when he took over, but post-tom baker it was like after the lord mayor's show!

    5. By coincidence, the Dave Clark Five performance of Everybody Get Together featured on this show had Peter Davison in the audience, making his first ever appearance on TV at the age of 18 - he doesn't feature in the clip shown here, though.

      Dory - Warriors of the Deep was made before the Thriller video, so you could just conceivably be right to say Dr Who influenced Jacko. However, I think it is rather unlikely...

    6. Wilberforce - Peter was my first Doctor, so I still have a soft spot for him now, though having since watched every episode of Who I would nominate Hartnell and Tom as my favourites.

    7. i suppose if push comes to shove my favorite doctor would have to be the first one i saw (jon pertwee), probably because i was then still young enough to be more afraid than amused. plus the original master from the pertwee era was truly scary - after his sudden death, the guys they got in to replace him were nowhere near as threatening...

    8. Tom Baker was my first Doctor, and he'll always be my favourite. I was still an avid watcher when Peter Davison took over, and was actually young enough to be sad when Adric died (!). Colin Baker was the real shark jumper for me, with a plethora of tacky but nasty stories. Sylvester McCoy was a step in the right direction, but never got the support. Of the new ones, I really liked Matt Smith, though he doesn't seem to be as popular as the others. Capaldi's doing great this series, shame he's going.

    9. I just barely remember Jon Pertwee just before he evolved into Tom Baker in 1974. I must have been 5 years old in 1973, but I vividly remember seeing Pertwee in some adventures on our black-and-white TV in our house, where there was no such thing as a remote control at that time, and nor do I remember any storylines, but was mesmerised by the opening and closing titles with the spooky music and whirling visuals that 5-year olds would be fascinated by.

    10. Jon Pertwee was my favourite Doctor but I liked Peter Davison so I carried on watching it until he left. Warriors Of The Deep is a lame story but has a good cast who are wasted. I read somewhere that they filmed this when the general election had been called in June 1983 and they had little time to rehearse it which is maybe why it's not so good.

    11. Patrick Troughton for me. Monster season (5) was the best season ever. When a load of lost episodes turned up a few years ago from that season it made my day.

      So many episodes still missing sadly.

  4. Finally, an anniversary show they can broadcast on BBC Four (I guess those Alan Freeman hatchet jobs of a few years ago were bullshit?).

    Kicking off with the only performance of Relax until a year later, but they're brimming with confidence and thanks to Trev's overhaul they're the new signature sound of 84. I didn't get what the controversy was about at the time, I was too young to know what Holly was referring to. I do recall hearing this on Radio Clyde after the BBC ban (though the Beeb did play it at night). Now of course this hymn to homosexual intercourse has been played to death, which is probably a good thing in a more accepting society, as long as no younglings ask what the song's about.

    Rod Stewart with both jacket and guitar too big for him, and song... too small for him? Very undistinguished, and he's blown all his video cash evidently.

    Then the regulation barrage of clips from the past for an anniversary show, but nice to see Fluff and his bit of business with Peelie. Also nice that John made a point of mentioning Alexis Korner.

    Ah, here's the Status Quo performance with Rick in an advanced state of refreshment going kamikaze into the drumkit. Francis drops his microphone too, not in a cool American mic drop after a big statement way either. In the video they seem to be dressed as Yellowcoats from Hi-De-Hi, bizarrely.

    Frank Kelly, looking visibly nervous, with a rare Christmas novelty record that's genuinely funny (especially in its original version). Also good because you hardly ever hear this, so it hasn't been overplayed.

    EDALS and My Oh My. Still not keen, though I wonder if you can still get novelty baseball caps with the arm and mallet hitting the bonce on them?

    Finally the video for Only You is ready, they had all that time to conjure up something special and... they went to the pub. Seeing these repeats reminds me I had no memory of the Yazoo version when the FPs got their hit. I do remember the rude lyrics version that went around the playground, though.

    Kool and the Gang to end, vaguely recall this. It's OK. But the full 40 at last! Woo!

    1. I remember in January 1984 in the school playground when my friends would hum the new Frankie Goes To Hollywood song at No.1, I thought that one of the lines was "we're shitting in the right direction, we're making it you're intention.....". Suffice to say that no-one corrected me then, and in those days before the internet era where you could easily find the lyrics, I thought this was additional tripe that led to the song to be banned.

    2. what i still find rather odd about the supposed contraversial nature of the "relax" lyrics, is that they actually seem to saying DON'T do whatever "it" is! had they not presented themselves with a strong gay/s&m image, would anyone have had the slightest idea what they were going on about?

    3. They do say what you must relax and don't do is - it's come, as in orgasm, thereby prolonging your pleasure for as long as possible. I must admit I wouldn't have understood that at the time even if it had been explained to me!

    4. aha, i get it now- a bit like sting and his tantric sex thing. but would it have been banned if it had been done by someone like wham, who were very much proffering a heterosexual image at the time (even if ironically their singer was actually gay)

    5. George Michael's I Want Your Sex was banned, so probably. We thought he was on about a lady, though!

    6. The other thing about Frankie was the obvious and not-so-obvious clues as to what the song was about, prior to the video of course. The original 12 inch single had lots of comic slurping and squelching noises dubbed onto it (a bit like the disco hit Love Attack by Ferrara if anyone remembers that one), but it was changed by Trevor Horn for what was called the heavier New York mix which was inspired by him visiting gay clubs in NY. There are other clues, eg Holly Johnson has a yellow hanky in his pocket which means he's into water sports. I remebmer someone explaining that to me and when I saw that Bruce Springsteen had what I thought was a red hanky in his back pocket on the cover of Born In The USA that it was also a kinky code (for fisting). It wasn't, it turns out to be a baseball cap.

    7. bama you have reminded me of the late 70's when more daring men started wearing an earring in one ear - some just to be fashionable, but others as a sexual signifier. and that included one of my teachers. but even though my school was in effect a "gay free zone" (to even be perceived as such doomed one to persecution!), we were still aware of the sexual "code" where in one ear meant you were straight and in the other you were gay. only we didn't know which was which, so we could only speculate as to that teacher's sexuality... or if he was simply trying to be trendy!

    8. On the subject of records banned by the BBC, Wings' "Hi Hi Hi" suffered that fate in 1972, not so much because of the title lyrics, as might be expected, but due to Macca singing about lying someone on his bed and getting them "ready for my body gun." Macca later claimed (doubtless with tongue in cheek) that he was actually singing "polygon!"

  5. Presumably because it was only a few months since the 1000th show, the 20th anniversary is celebrated in a relatively low-key fashion, but the Rhythm Pals are both in top form and it was nice to see Fluff turn up for some "bantz" with JP. A good selection of clips too, even if many of them are now extremely familiar, with the rarely-heard Everybody Get Together, by far the best thing the DC5 ever did, as my highlight.

    There's no question that Frankie were THE band of 1984, and I remember hearing their music frequently during the course of that year. Appropriate that they should kick the year off, then, and it's lucky they managed to make it on the show before Mike Read turned censor. A dynamic performance to match Trevor Horn's still highly impressive production, and even if the band didn't play on the record they certainly give it their all here. After such a strong start, Rod's bland acoustic effort sounds all the more anodyne in comparison. It's inoffensive, but goes on forever and the video is extremely dull too.

    I can't believe BBC4 edited this infamous Quo performance out of the early showing. Rick doesn't actually look especially out of it for most of the performance, but he does appear to just collapse over the drumkit. Slade's Jim Lea, making the first of three separate appearances in the show, is a notable replacement for Alan Lancaster on bass duties here. I've heard Father Jack's festive offering several times on Radio 2 in the past, but for me it's overlong and not especially funny - interesting to see him in a different guise here, though.

    Slade conclude their virtual Christmas residency on TOTP with plenty more football scarves - appropriate they and Quo should be on this show, as they were both such TOTP stalwarts. After an impressive five consecutive studio appearances from the boys, we finally get the rather downbeat Pickets video, which doesn't exactly seem designed to inculcate seasonal cheer. We then play out with Straight Ahead for the second time.

    1. It seems the Rod Stewart performance is from The Late Late Breakfast Show.

  6. Well I definitely watched this show! Never forget one priceless moment of TOTP history, and what a good job nobody with the initials J & S was presenting as BBC4 would miss out again on some vintage clips.

    I also watched episode 1 of Doctor Who ‘Warriors of the Deep’ that night and what utter tosh that was too! Completely ruined the mystique of the Silurians and the Sea Devils. The Silurians originally used their third eye to kill people (in Jon Pertwee’s second story) but here it flashed just like a Dalek! The Sea Devils wer terrifying originally – especially at the end of episode 1 of their debut story. A story that regularly occupies the lower reasons of story polls.

    Frankie goes to Hollywood – Relax – It’s OK, but really I don’t get what all the fuss was about. Good dance record I guess.

    Rod Stewart – Sweet Surrender – Hi there David Gates – you once recorded an excellent song of the same title with Bread!

    ‘60s’ Clips – Loved ‘em…but Thin Lizzy and the Sweet??? And Edison Lighthouse and Brotherhood of Man (no ‘Save your kisses for me’ there!) were 1970 so marginal. JK edited surprise but why not have included the massive hit ‘Everyone’s gone to the Moon’ instead? (which does exist.. clearly introduced by JS)

    Status Quo – Margarita Time – The song may be much derided but Rick’s vault over the drums will stay in everyone’s minds who witnessed it!

    70s clips – What, no GG? Gosh they do have to do a lot of editing on these repeats!!

    Frank Kelly – Christmas Countdown – Were they serious featuring this? FF

    Top 40 now being shown – pity not sooner as some great records stalled in the 31 – 40 bracket in the past few years.

    Top 10 video rundown. This was interesting; Paul Young’s video was not what I expected. There appears to be two videos for ‘Love of the Common People’. This is where the clip they showed came from:-

    But I much prefer the original, mainly for the FWTs!

    Paul’s haircut has certainly changed!

    We get to no2 of the top 10 videos…..and then get a repeat of Slade in the studio rather than the excellent video for ‘My oh my’. Weird.

    Flying Pickets – Only You – I loved this video and at last we get to see it rather than silly snowmen. The single was very hard to find in a picture sleeve which was unusual at the time as almost all singles were released as such by then.

    Kool and the gang – Straight ahead – Straight off…

    1. It seems that a lot of people on this blog were watching the show as fully as possible, cos many noticed in the Status Quo performance the Rick Parfitt 'sketch' of falling over the drums on stage and sending them and the drummer on the floor, and we also unwittingly get a full shot of Parfitt's ass via his usual lazy jeans attire. Not my cup of tea I'm afraid.

  7. I've just watched the (almost) complete episode via On Demand, and it's not bad at all. Frankie open with a Trevor Horn-helmed million-seller that defined the era, followed by the future Sir Rod with 'Knocking On Sweet Surrender's Door'.

    After the first batch of nostalgic clips, Quo thump out their music-hall singalong once again, with Andy Bown on his fairground organ and Slade's Jim Lea standing in for the Australia-domiciled Alan Lancaster.

    Then there's another romp through TOTP history, followed by Father Jack's seasonal monologue before Slade take to the stage with the heavy metal answer to 'Let It Be'.

    Not for the first time, Kool & The Gang are relegated to the playout! Still, Band Aid would not be too far away...

  8. I can definitely remember this one with Rick Parfitt's infamous fall (I have read somewhere - probably online - that this was planned) and the vintage clips with Thin Lizzy and Sweet in the 1960s batch (even back then I knew that this was wrong!). I don't remember Frank Kelly but became familiar this record 10-20 years ago because it was a festive regular on both our hospital radio station and Ed Doolan's show on BBC WM. We used to listen to the latter - predominately a phone-in show - at work; whilst I was in the 'avid listener' camp, the other faction dismissed it as 'whingeing yam-yams'! Talking of BBC WM, I see that Tony & Julie have just gone down. Operation Yewtree lives on!

    I probably watched Dr. Who as well, but I had an on-off relationship with that show during the 1980s (more so than TOTP). Looking back at the 1963-1989 run as a whole, it wasn't the lead actor who made or broke it but the producer, and in my opinion the Letts and Hinchcliffe eras of the early-mid 1970s represented the show's apogee.

    1. 20th i thought your "tony & julie" reference applied to parsons and burchill of "NME" fame! i had to look up the pair in question to find out who they actually were. and once i did, not for first time when hearing of such cases i thought "why didn't i encounter a woman like mrs w when i was a teenager"? i certainly wouldn't have complained about being one of her "victims" and receiving such "abuse" - that's for sure!

    2. with regard to the above, i presume if the following was released as a single now it would get banned?:

    3. I found interesting the clip of Brotherhood Of Man, as the band members didn't look anything like the No.1 band with Kisses For Me, six years later in 1976 in colour on TOTP, so I wonder if they had a line-up change between 1970-76? Although I have the greatest hits album, and heard this song United We Stand, I'm surprised that they were around as early as 1970 with it, and in black and white footage here.

    4. The original line-up of Brotherhood of Man included songwriter Roger Greenaway OBE as well as the then ubiquitous Tony Burrows and sibling session singers Sue Glover and Sunny Leslie. Sunny later had a solo Top 10 hit with 'Doctor's Orders'.

      After a few personnel shuffles, the definitive line-up of Brotherhood of Man - still mentored by producer/songwriter Tony Hiller - came together in '73. Lee Sheridan, Martin Lee, Sandra Stevens and Nicky Stevens would lift the Eurovision trophy in '76, and continue to perform occasionally on the cabaret and revival circuits.

    5. Wilb - yeah, me too :o)

      Tony and Julie Wadsworth were essentially post-1990 nonentities (although I don't know what they did individually before they married), unlike similarly-disgraced Midlands broadcaster Steve Merike, whose career goes back to the 1960s pirate stations and he even did a brief stint on Radio 1 during its early years.

      Dory - Julie beat me to it! The 'Kisses For Me' line-up was effectively the 'New Brotherhood Of Man', like the New Seekers. The versions of 'United We Stand' and 'Where Are You Going To My Love' on the Greatest Hits CD are not the originals, but I'm not too sure who recorded them.

    6. The producer of Dr Who at this time (and until the end of the series in 1989 before the long hiatus) was the late Jon Nathan-Turner. A volatile and controversial character, JNT alienated a large section of Dr Who fandom and, despite campaigns to oust him by influential fanzines, he refused to budge.

      On the plus side, when JNT got it right, the stories were fabulous - check out Peter Davison's final story 'The Caves of Androzani' and Sylvester McCoy's Dalek story 'Remembrance of the Daleks'.

    7. In fairness to JNT, by the end of Colin Baker's time he was keen to move on. However, the BBC forced him to stay on the show because no one else wanted to produce it, as it was by then widely seen as damaged goods.

  9. having never lived in the midlands i can't say i was familiar with steve merike either. but when i looked up more details about him, i noted with some disbelief that he initially gave plod the "pete townsend" reason for his interest i.e. that he was doing some research!

    full details here:

  10. Ah yes Pete Townsend infamous getting away with it. reminds me of Gavin and Stacey where Nessa says she broke up with Townsend for undisclosed reasons, tho as she said "I mean, wheres the book?".

  11. FGTH, like Wham the previous year, look incredibly confident and at home on their TOTP debut don't they? You can see why they became the biggest new stars of the year.

    '60s' clips (well done archivist in just assuming that B&W = 60s acts) were a mixture of stuff you always see in celebratory editions - Rolling Stones, Procol Harum - and some slightly unusual ones, though I could have done without seeing the downright scary Jethro Tull.
    2 things to note - 1) Why was the Alan Price clip in sepia? & 2) Peel managed to retain his professionalism and somehow not mention that the Peter Sarstedt record was his least favourite song ever!

    Quo - I love the fact that the audience clearly enjoyed the bit of business at the end.

    70s/80s clips - A little light on the 80s, but I suppose they wanted to concentrate on stuff that the audience might have forgotten. Again a mixture of familiar and slightly left-field. Not sure we really needed to see one of the contenders for world's ugliest band Ashton, Gardner & Dyke mind you.....

    Frank Kelly continues the Pops tradition of playing a Christmas song in the first week of January though I suppose technically the 12 Days of Christmas do include January 5th!
    I quite like the tune (well, monologue) because you don't hear it often.

    Then the Top 10 Video Countdown which is much shorter this time and a couple of songs we've seen enough of now. The next show will cover the post Xmas chart shake up I expect.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I think the sepia tone on the Alan Price clip was probably because it was preserved as a tele-recording (ie on film) rather than on video tape as the others from that era were. I guess they found it in an overseas TV vault somewhere.

      The lead singer of Ashton, Gardner & Dyke (which one he?) is a dead ringer for Ted Bovis from Hi-De-Hi. They could have used him in the Status quo video.

    3. Bama, BaMAAAAAAAAAA! (sorry, couldn't resist) - you're spot on about the Ted Bovis resemblance.

    4. Also just noticed that I accidentally skipped the Rod song entirely in my comments. Which is quite apt as it's very forgettable though pleasant enough I suppose. It's a bit weird hearing Rod do a pretty straight Country song though.

    5. I best the Ashton Gardner and Dyke lead singer couldn't do as good a version of You've Lost That Loving Feeling as Ted Bovis.

    6. The AGD lead singer couldn't even do a good version of 'Resurrection Shuffle' - stoned out of his mind and unable to remember the lyrics - here's the full version:

      Never mind Ted Bovis, what's DLT doing on sax?

      Looking at these sequences again, I would guess that the Alan Price clip is simply a different film stock run through a colour telecine (if they didn't even know that Thin Lizzy and Sweet were from the '70s then they most likely wouldn't have had a clue about white balance...). All the b/w material would have been film - yes, some '60s material does survive on VT but I think this was what was saved by Bob Pratt and may not have been known about in 1983/4. Similarly, a colour VT version of 'Witches Promise' was subsequently unearthed:

      Note the 'comet tailing' on Ian Anderson's flute - colour TV was still a developing technology back then. I get the impression that the director was aware of this problem and kept turning on that purple solarisation effect to cover it up!

    7. which trio was ugliest - ashton gardner & dyke, or trio?

    8. Didnt some of the archive sequences get reused from the 1000th edition?

  12. As well as marking the 20th anniversary they also marked the new year with a few changes to the format, most noticeably the Top 40 rundown at last, only about 6 years after they first did it on the radio. And we even get a re-entry in the form of Black Lace and Karma Chameleon for some reason traveling back up the chart.

    The best thing on the show by far is Frankie who kick off the proceedings with their debut and they already look like seasoned performers and deliver a superb performance of their most famous song. I think everyone I knew got into FGTH at the time but a lot of us, me included. fell out-of-love with them a bit because of all of the remixes and picture discs that ZTT spewed out at regular intervals. It still seems hard to believe that they allowed this to be played on the show when it's so obviously about sex but I'm glad they did.

    I have no memory of the Rod Stewart song at all and little wonder as it's a bit average but pleasant enough. Not sure what the Kid means by "fellow Scotsman Rod Stewart", who was the other Scot then?

    Status Quo add a bit of much needed fun to the proceedings by having an uncredited Jim from Slade with them and the drum kit crush at the end but I still don't like the song much.

    The Frank Kelly Christmas spoof is a lot of fun but would be better suited to a light entertainment show than being on a record and being January 5th it was out of date but I guess it sold enough to get to number 26. He released a follow up as well called The Barnet Song which didn't chart, at least not in Britain.

    The video Top Ten is back but we only get to see 8 of them because Kenny and Dolly don't have a real video and Slade are in the studio, again. They really wanted to get to number one didn't they but alas peaked too early and couldn't stop the pipes of peace. Nice to see The Flying Pickets video even if it is a bit boring.

    As for the clips of the past 20 years of shows, now of course we know that the reason why we saw lesser hits by The Dave Clark Five, Lulu and The original Brotherhood Of Man, etc, was because they only had about 3 and a half shows from before 1974. Great to see Fluff Freeman but they should have given him more to do.

    At this point in my life I worked at Our Price records. I recall that the first week of the new year was really slow, the post-Xmas slump, and the liven up the boredom I suggested that we played every single in the Top 75. I think we ran out of steam, or time, before we got to the Top 30 but it included a few things we would usually NEVER play in the shop including a song called Chick Chick Chicken by Natalie Casey. She went on to be a well known actress in Two Pints Of Lager but at the time she was a three year old who had appeared with her mum on Saturday Superstore and started singing this song live on air. The result was she got a record contract with Polydor but it only got to number 72. Needless to say it was truly awful and cleared the shop when we played it. I bet she's embarrassed about it now.

    1. Bama....I have just about stopped laughing my head off having listened to 'Chick chick chicken'!!!

      Never heard it before in my life and not surprised that you emptied your branch of 'Our Price' by playing it!!!

    2. Natalie was also famous (sort of) at the time for interrupting a Boy George interview on Saturday Superstore to ask him if he could escort her to the toilet.

    3. I remember watching Natalie Casey on Saturday Superstore at the time. Boy George was very sweet to her as I recall, and speaking of him I suspect the rebound for 'Karma Chameleon' was surely that classic thing of kids who got record tokens (remember those?) for Christmas going out and spending them.

    4. regarding frankie looking like seasoned performers: singer holly johnson actually was one, having spent several years performing in various local liverpool bands - including of course the legendary big in japan that also spawned members of future hitmaking acts siouxsie & the banshees, the teardeop explodes, the klf and the lightning seeds (plus clive langer, who co-produced madness and elvis costello recordings among many others)

    5. that should have read "that spawned future members of hitmaking acts"...

  13. What I loved was the segue from Brotherhood Of Man into Edison Lighthouse, both from the same edition, and both with the same frontman - Tony Burrows. Nice touch.

    1. I noticed that but isn't that because they only have one show from 1970.

  14. Hi folks! I’m back again and hope to add my usual rubbish on a more sporadic basis than the last three months, now that Dad’s back home after his burst ulcer. I certainly won’t be able to stomach four critiques in a week, though, so let’s play it by ear.

    I also enjoyed “The Story of 1984”. One particular story we won’t get this year / six months is “A Song For Europe” as, for the first time for donkey’s years, our entry for Eurovision didn’t get its usual pre-contest TOTP outing. The song, “Love Is” by Vikki, wasn’t really up to much but might have peaked higher than 49 with some airtime. Next year’s Eurovision entry also fails to make TOTP.

    A bit of a strange show, this, as it includes four non-movers including the last three shows in the programme. I had to look up The Jingle Belles from the lower reaches of the (new!) top 40 countdown. Their top 37 hit was a six-song Christmas medley, a hat doff to the classic Ronettes Christmas album.

    Ah, the Frankies. Well, two thirds of the previous “Tube” line-up which was promoted as “Two gays, two straights, two girls – something for everyone”. I had a Roger Moore raised eyebrow at the time this charted as its subject matter was fairly obvious, but you couldn’t fault the performance – Holly and the lads looked like confident old stagers.

    Frank “Feck” Kelly (rocking the Gilbert O’Sullivan look here) had entered the chart at 34 on Christmas Eve and, as expected, this dropped to 51 the week after his turn. In reality, Frank had rather a posh accent, just as unexpected as the ‘proper’ accent of Pam St. Clement, aka Pat Butcher in “EastEnders”.

    Weird to see two country style songs from rock artists. Rod’s tune was forgettable and, to these ears, Quo’s song was better performed in waltz time by Dexys.

    Nice tribute to Alexis Korner by Peelie. Touch of class, that.

    A very low-key video for the Flying Pickets, but a pub setting was probably apt as the bald Picket went by the stage name of Red Stripe.

    1. welcome bnack arthur! wasn't the third "straight" in the original line-up of fgth?

    2. Thanks Wilby! Not sure, I can't remember.

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  15. A fun episode. Seems a bit weird having so many Xmas tracks post Xmas, but I guess if that's what people were buying... I wonder if that happens these days with the instant access of itunes etc....