Thursday, 19 October 2017

Together in Top of the Pops

And so we reach the point where October 2017 reaches out and takes the hand of Top of the Pops from October 1984.

Boy George shows off the ear rings he borrowed from Sade

04/10/84 (Simon Bates & Richard Skinner)

Bronski Beat – “Why?” (6)
Bronski Beat get the show underway with Why for a second time but it got no higher than number 6.

The Cars – “Drive” (15) (video)
Speeding into the charts with their first top 30 hit for five and a half years, Drive would initially park at number 5, but a year later it would emotively re-enter and peak at number 4.

John Waite – “Missing You” (38)
Last seen on show with The Babys over six years earlier, this American number one hit peaked at number 9 over here, and was his only solo hit. Edited out of the 7.30 showing.

Giorgio Moroder & Philip Oakey – “Together In Electric Dreams” (21) (video)
From the movie Electric Dreams, it peaked at number 3 and was Phil's only top 40 hit away from the Human League. Also edited out of the 7.30 showing.

Culture Club – “The War Song” (3)
This first single from their number 2 album, Waking Up With the House on Fire, went up one more place to also peak at number 2.

Paul McCartney – “No More Lonely Nights” (28) (video)
Taken from his movie and number one album, Give My Regards to Broad Street, this single famously featured Dave Gilmour on guitar and peaked at number 2. Another victim of the 7.30 chop.

The Stranglers – “Skin Deep” (32)
They were just about the last punks standing by now, and Skin Deep made it to number 15.

Adam Ant – “Apollo 9” (13)
Despite giving it full throttle, he couldn't get this one any higher in the charts.

Stevie Wonder – “I Just Called To Say I Love You” (1) (video)
Fifth of six weeks now at number one.

Freddie Mercury – “Love Kills” (10) (audience dancing/credits)
Just as Bronski Beat began the show for the second time and got no higher, now Freddie ends the show for a second time and got no higher.

Thursday night on BBC1

October 11th is next.


  1. Master Bates seems lost for words for once at the start, but unfortunately this doesn’t last long! He is actually on tolerable form here, and Dickie is his normal competent, likeable self.

    Most unimaginatively, the show begins and ends with the same songs as two weeks previously. No weird object in the mouth of the non-bespectacled Bronski keyboardist this time, but instead he models a Pringle golfing sweater. It was very appropriate of The Cars to record a song called Drive, and though there doesn’t seem to be much love for it on this blog I have always liked its understated power. Having said that, if you are feeling suicidal the video is probably best avoided!

    Until these reruns I had never realised that John Waite was the lead singer of The Babys or an Englishman, given how thoroughly American this record sounds. I suppose it’s accomplished enough in terms of both vocals and production, but I hate the way John sings “ain’t,” and overall the song isn’t really my cup of tea; as this performance shows, he is not an especially appealing stage presence either. A shame the next one got skipped from the early showing, as I have always really liked it, a great feelgood pop tune - sorry Angelo , but I still think that it should have been the title of the 1984 blog! Phil sings nicely here too, and is clearly enjoying his chance to cruise around LA in the video, interspersed with clips from the long-forgotten film the song was recorded for. I would be interested to know who the female backing vocalists were, as to my ears they could easily be the League girls.

    Culture Club may have entered at 3 with their new single, but this was officially the point at which their career started going down the toilet. This much-mocked record isn’t bad tune-wise, but the trite lyrics are hard to ignore; the band were all looking increasingly ludicrous by this time as well, with Mikey’s bouffant hair and shoulder pads almost upstaging a pink-haired George. Jon Moss, I see, is relegated to standing in the chorus line here - a punishment from George after another argument? Readers of my posts here will know that I am not Macca’s greatest fan, but credit where it is due, this is a classy song and for me one of his best solo efforts, with an anthemic chorus and some memorable guitar work from Dave Gilmour. As with Together in Electric Dreams the song overshadows the film from whence it came, though given the panning it received Macca may well be relieved that Give My Regards to Broad Street is now erased from most people’s memories - I wonder what Dickie thought when he (presumably) got round to seeing it? I have never watched the film myself, so I am not sure how much of the video derives from it, but presumably those Victorian scenes with Ringo and Linda getting drowned do at least, and also that bit where Macca is in the shop.

    Back to the studio for another fine and very underplayed offering from The Stranglers, though it has to be said the band don’t look too great here. Hugh has the appearance of a teddy boy gone to seed, Dave has a monk’s haircut without the tonsure, and Jet seems in imminent danger of breaking his drum stool, so fat has he become! Adam’s penultimate TOTP appearance next, though it would be over five years before he returned for his final one. On this occasion, the spacesuit is augmented with a pilot’s jacket and a cowboy hat, giving three images for the price of one. Freddie is on the playout once again, but neither the cheerleaders nor the audience seem able to muster up that much enthusiasm this week.

    1. Suicidal wasn't the word I was thinking about when watching The Cars video, but you may be correct on that one. The word turmoil was what I was thinking. Good Lord, the girl in the video was really freaking out, wasn't she? I wonder what the song and video were trying to depict? For a first song in nearly 6 years, it was an excellent tune for a comeback single by The Cars, but I feel it has been so overplayed over the years, that it has lost some if its aura.

      With regard to Angelo's point about the re-release of the song a year later in 1985, I wonder why it was re-released when it got to no.5 first time round, here in 1984? It wasn't exactly a flop on the first outing, which is when some songs are released again for a second try. The mind boggles.

    2. Cashing in on live aid dory. The haunting “scream” made it a shoe in for a re release after it was played.

    3. did the cars give all proceeds from the re-release to the live aid charidee? to my knowledge queen,U2 and any other act whose back-catalogue stormed the charts as a result of doing that gig never gave a penny of the windfall to starving ethiopians!

  2. hosts: dickie pulls the short straw on the co-host front once again, but judging by the yt clips at least he didn't actually spend too much time in the presence of the odious one

    moroder/oakey: neither are in anywhere near top form here, but now that pop music was regularly being used as themes for movies rather than proper scores (outrageously in my view) i don't suppose either were going to turn down the opportunity

    john waite: lyrically this is a sort-of follow up to 10cc's "i'm not in love", but musically it's more than a little influenced by "every breath you take". however despite that i find it far more listenable than sting's tune (or at least got to feel that way in the end, having initially been ambivalent towards it). i remember there being two mixes in circulation with one supposedly being far superior to the other, but i also seem to recall hearing both and being hard-pressed to tell the difference!

    culture club: all i remember about this was the chorus chant of "war is stupid, and people are stupid", and george getting a lot of flack for the inanity/naivety of that sentiment from the media as a result (in retrospect even the man himself admits it was a suicidal career move)

    macca: i have a vague recollection of this, but have no wish to hear it again. probably like many i never knew at the time (or for many years afterwards) that the title of his vanity project/self-indulgent movie (that i would actually be interested in seeing now as a period piece) was a pun on the old al jolson/judy garland standard "give my regards to broadway"

    stranglers: one that came back to me as i watched it on yt. and got better accordingly, but it's still nowhere near the class of "european female". the constant switching about from flattened to major 7th in the keyboard riff is a little annoying. and what the hell does "better watch out for the skin deep" mean? is it another veiled drug reference a la "golden brown"? by coincidence i was discussing with a chum a couple of days ago the fact that although hugh cornwell did a 15 year stint with the band (dickie points out it was already 10 at this point) which seemed substantial at the time, he's now been solo (and is still a going concern in that respect) for almost twice as long now!

    1. Did you notice apart from the obvious guest on the video, i.e., Ringo Starr, that Giant Haystacks was also on the video as a medieval bouncer in Dickens-style clothing throwing a man against a wall with a wrestling style summersault flip. Haystacks was famously a good friend of Paul McCartney who was a big fan of Haystacks, and gave him a starring role in the film Give My Regards To Broad Street, which is where this McCartney pop video is promoting, and much like the Together In Electric Dreams video promoting the film Electric Dreams, so here we had two movie title soundtracks on video in one edition of TOTP. Good Lord!

    2. I think The Stranglers' "Skin Deep" concerns watching out for shallow people who pretend to be be mates then won't help you when you really need them - probably a play on the old phrase 'beauty is only skin deep'.

    3. I couldn't help but notice on the 'Skin Deep' performance the regular studio audience podium blonde, this week dancing as a couple and with a red bow in hair. She was also a main feature in the playout song Love Kills.

      I've been noticing that she has been a weekly fixture (or most weeks anyway) in the studio audience since early 1983, and her best appearance was on Jimmy The Hoover's Tantalise in summer of 1983. I'm going to be really disappointed whenever she finally takes her leave from the show, but she has had a long stint if ever there was one, coming up to nearly two years at this point in late 1984, and long may it continue, as the show won't be the same without her.

      Considering the studio audience at this time were all born in the 50s and 60s, it's likely that she is over 60 by now, and enjoying these reruns as much as we are.

  3. I agree, Together in Electric Dreams would have been a good title. There's a dreamy sound to some 84 music.

    And I do like that song a lot, though the video just uses scenes from the film. I remember liking Skin Deep at the time. And certainly one of McCartney's best of the period, better than Pipes of Peace.

    I really didn't like Missing You then, though I can accept it more now. I'm sure there's a few that people think of as being American but aren't, John Parr another.

    The War Song does have a chorus that could get annoying, though the performance and production (with what sound Caribbean percussion sounds) are decent.

    Culture Club actually had a song on the Electric Dreams soundtrack, a very nice song, vaguely familiar to me from the time, called The Dream. Maybe that should have got promotion instead.

    1. The movie soundtrack of Together in Electric Dreams also featured two songs by Jeff Lynne (now on a 3-year break from a rested ELO), two songs by Culture Club, and one by their mate Helen Terry who got her own single called Now You're Mine. Neither of the two songs by Culture Club on the Electric Dreams soundtrack were The War Song, straight in as a new entry at No.3 in this week's chart, so Culture Club you could say were having a great level of exposure on all fronts in late 1984.

      The video for Together in Electric Dreams has Giorgio Morroder making a cameo appearance as the boss of a radio station taken over by the computer with the human emotions. I wonder if anyone spotted that?

  4. Yes, Bronski Beat's Why is a storming way to start a show, but they'd already done it. Spent most of this performance trying to work out what was on the left hand keyboard player's T-shirt, was it rude?

    But again, I really enjoyed this episode. The Cars up next with their classy ode to mental illness Drive, a very atmospheric track but I've probably heard it too often, or at least too often the following year because you know why. Nice to see it in context.

    John Waite looking positively ghoulish, The Flying Pickets went that way, mate. Sort of middling AOR soft rock outing, all very plaintive, desperate even (he does say he's desperate, doesn't he?), interesting contrast with the previous track anyway.

    Phil and Giorgio team up for this week's song from a movie, one of the most 80s movies ever made in fact, with Virginia Madsen at her most beautiful being lusted after by a home computer (now out on Blu-ray, if you're looking to start your Christmas list). As for the song, I'll never get sick of this, it's pop perfection from Phil's slightly too high for him singing and the clear, catchy synth melodies plus a great guitar solo. Giorgio's in the video too (speaking!), for a change. Nice bit among the clips where Virginia walks past Phil outside the supermarket, don't think that's in the movie, either.

    Culture Club prepare to go down the dumper with The War Song, which a bunch of people bought because they thought, ooh, they're back, we like them! Then they heard the album and thought, ouch, it's no Karma Chameleon. Looking back this is weirdly jolly for a protest song, but someone tweet it to the US President and see if it makes him see sense. No? Ah, when did a protest song change anything, eh George? Was the drummer staging a protest too?

    Song from a movie Part 2, and it's another cracker, loved this at the time, but like everyone else on the planet, it couldn't entice me to see the film it came from. This mishmash of clips actually sums the movie up, it's a total mess with the occasional decent tune and to wake you up you'll be going, hey, is that Ralph Richardson? Barbara Bach? Giant Haystacks?! That "big blue one" snatch of dialogue was stuck in my head for a month back then, kept reciting it. Anyway, lovely, wistful tune with a hint of bombast, it deserved a better framing than this, which definitely wasn't A Hard Day's Night for the 80s (if you wanted that, check out Aussie cult movie Starstruck).

    The Stranglers with a shimmering, moody little ditty that is better if you can't see them and their "recovering alcoholic" appearance in this performance. I have no idea if they really were just out of rehab, but they sure look it. Good song, but what's it about?

    Adam Ant with a slightly less energetic Apollo 9 than his last turn on the show, as if he was understandably concerned he hadn't made the top ten with really strong material. What did it say on his plaster?

    Stevie Wonder still there, how many key changes does this thing have for heaven's sake? Dove shattering toast = pure cheese. Cheese on toast.

    Then yet another song from a movie, and a Moroder one at that. Very much like this, but it would have been nice to see the video at least. Liked the redhead who notices the camera trained on her and reacts accordingly.

    1. I remember going to see the film Together In Electric dreams at my local Odeon cinema around this time 1984, and totally taken by it. Yes, the fact that a male home computer could have human emotions and fall in love with a human female was just really groundbreaking at the time, and a bit like Jonny morris who talked with the the animals on Animal Magic, a BBC children programme at the time.

      With regard to the song, I think it was Phil Oakey's first solo venture outside of The Human League, who's fortunes were somewhat flailing by 1984 with their latest album not making as many inroads as the 1981-1983 best period for the League.

    2. the premise of this film (which they probably wouldn't get away with these days) sounds perfectly dreadful, so i don't think i'll be tracking it down. however it gives me an excuse to see if anyone here can tell me the name of some 80's film i once saw at a sci-fi all-nighter at the kings cross scala:

      a bunch of teens are having a house party (in los angeles?) when a neutron bomb drops, and an attractive young woman somehow seems to the the only survivor in the deserted city. but about halfway through the film her sister (who had previously been at the party re-appears), having been shielded from the bomb by a corrogated shed she happened to be in! i know it sounds like total schlock, and it was. but i would like to see it again, even if just for nostalgia reasons...

    3. Electric Dreams is a really sweet, silly film, but if all you watch is difficult 3 hour Soviet-era black and white epics then I can understand why it wouldn't appeal. Sometimes it's nice just to watch fluff, though, and this was good fluff.

      As to your mystery movie, Wilberforce, sounds like Night of the Comet. Were there a few half-hearted zombies in it, and Mary Woronov as the baddie? Fun item, if it was that one.

    4. thx having read up on it i'm 99% sure that's the film on question, so thanks for that. by coincidence, like "electric dreams" it was released in 1984!

    5. The design on keyboardist Larry Steinbachek's shirt was the illustration of a man with his head in his hands in dispair from the front of the single.

  5. I think Oakey/ver league would have their biggest period yet in a few years with American no1 “Human”.

    1. That was a one-off single, and not part of a period/album of success like Dare for example.

    2. Nope, was on the album "Crash" and I would suggest a massive US number 1 constitutes a period of success for them.

    3. And there was a follow-up to 'Human', it just didn't make the Top 40.

    4. There were two follow up singles. Love Is All That Matter's was a minor hit two years later. They should have released Jam as a single, I'm sure that would have ben a hit.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. technically "skin deep" didn't change from minor to major key - rather than the third note in the scale being amended (which makes that difference) it was actually the 7th that kept switching from the dominant (or flattened) variety (that is often referred to as merely the 7th, and used a lot in blues-related songs) to the major 7th which is one semitone higher and gives a lighter, more airy feel (david gates of bread was renowned for using such chords in his songs). the music lesson endeth here!

  7. Am I mellowing, or is Slimes getting a bit easier to watch? Dickie was in good solid middle batting order as always.

    Here comes my Gok Wan critique of Bronski Beat. Missus Nibble watched the early run-through with me and thought Jimi Somerville looked like a Midwest farmer and wore terrible jeans. Speccy Beat’s top had a distraught man with his head between his arms, and surely this should have peaked at number FORE! looking at that golf jumper.

    The Cars had managed just a number 51 and a number 37 since “Just What I Needed “ over here, but they scored two top 10’s, two top 15’s, a top 40 and three number 41’s over the pond in between.

    John Waite must have made that close-up cameraman feel seasick with his persistent moving back and forth. As for a UK number 1, I guess he’ll have a long Waite!

    Moroder & Oakley according to the outro namecheck. I can’t get used to hairy stubbled Phil. I liked the way the supermart’s electronic sign displayed the lyrics as Phil sang them.

    As for Culture Club, the lyrics are stupid, and George is stupid. Surely they should have had eight cheerleaders with numbered trousers reading 1914 and 1945 between them for extra effect. At least OMD’s Malcolm got a snare and a hi-hat as his most basic kit. What had Jon done to deserve that?

    For the uninitiated, Broad Street is one of the 25 ancient wards of the City of London, and Broad Street railway station was about to be demolished with its North London Line services transferring to next door Liverpool Street. It became the only London terminus to close and disappear.

    Missus Nibble thought Hugh Cornwell had a great voice. I though Dave Greenfield should have sacked his barber. Not one of my fave Stranglers tracks, but a decent transition, and they’d keep having hits for a few years.

    Adam Ant, straight from the Paul Weller school of chewing, wearing a plaster with “Apollo 9” written on it and a top festooned with the flags of those well known space nations UK, Italy, Greece and Poland. Howard Jones’s “Like To Get You” top was far more impressive flags-wise. Why did the song’s countdown keep stopping at 5? I found that really annoying, though nothing like as annoying as the chart topper.

    Groundhog Day finishes with Giorgio Moroder’s second hit of the mo, though I preferred the one that got chopped early doors.

    1. Sorry, that should have said 1914 and 1939 for the cheerleader's numbers. I am stupid!

    2. arthur thanks for the gen on broad street - i always assumed it was a thoroughfare in macca's native liverpool (although by chance there is some kind of connection in your explanation)

    3. The Broad Street film revolved around Macca losing the tapes to his new album and then spending the best part of two hours trying to find them again. It was originally supposed to be a TV special but Macca decided to turn it into a film against the advice of those involved in the project.

      It'a definitely a case of the soundtrack being way better than the film especially No More Lonely Nights.

      Mind you, as Macca's next album at this point would've been the truly awful Press To Play it's a shame the tapes didn't stay missing.

    4. Only Love Remains is a nice song off Press To Play.

    5. Only Love Remains is definitely one of his more underrated songs but IMHO not one of his stronger albums. I think Macca was trying too hard to be contemporary and it didn't quite work.

      Macca recorded a studio performance of Only Love Remains for TOTP but because it unexpectedly went down the charts the performance was never shown.

  8. Not only does The Cars' 'Drive' bear a title that is appropriate to the name of the act, but it could well be the only instance of a Top 10 hit titled in the style of a one-word subheading, as featured in snoozepapers such as The Scum. Nevertheless, 'Drive' is an all-time classic delivered faultlessly by the late Benjamin Orr, whom I mistook for Harry Webb when I first heard the song on the radio. Unusually for the post-progressive era, the arrangement also includes a tabla.

    Like John G, I have never been able to fathom the enduring global appeal of 'Missing You', which is - to me anyway - a standard, uninspired power ballad. Both Barbara Dickson and Tina Turner have covered the song, but it still does nothing for me. As The Beautiful South would have put it, Mr Waite loved his ex-girlfriend from the bottom of his pencil case.

    To this day, I cannot hear Culture Club's 'The War Song' without thinking of Spitting Image's parody, 'War Is Naughty'.

    The Stranglers’ popularity deservedly escalated across Europe and Australasia around this time, though not in the one country where the band could and should have been huge: the USA. Ironically, one of their later hits was entitled 'Big In America'.

    Meanwhile, Adam - who tried so hard to be big in America - was lucky even to make the British Top 20 with 'Apollo 9', as his glam-influenced style had already dated.


    I regret to inform you all that this will be my very last contribution to the blog.

    With Stock-Aitken-Waterman and Paul Hardcastle around the corner, and house and techno to follow, the golden age of TOTP - for me anyway - came to an end in late '84.

    May I take the opportunity to thank you all for making me feel so welcome on this site.

    Take care and best wishes,


    1. Thanks for everything, Julie. It's been a pleasure. Feel free to break your word and come back any time.

    2. I have to say, I'm dreading 'Pump up the volume', 'Jack your Body', 'S'Express' etc. etc. But amongst the darkness there still shone some golden shards of light!

    3. I think the overall quality of the charts does start to slide after '84, but there is still enough of interest in the next few years for me to stick around until 1987 at least. As Arthur says Julie, if there are any particular shows that grab your interest in future, please do drop back in - we will miss your musical knowledge and insights.

    4. Nice knowing you, Julie, I'll miss your endless facts. Well, I suppose they've ended now. Have a nice life!

    5. I would agree somewhat with Julie that 1984 the last golden year of TOTP, but I'm more aligned with John as to 1987 being the last of the talent years. But having said that, I remember that Meat Loaf had his first No.1 in 1993 for 7 weeks with I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That).

      The period between 1988-1995 was where there was more rubbish and packaging than true talent and inventiveness, and the last year where it was a complete shift and no turning back was at the end of 1995, where videos had their last year of on-location sets, because after that the video concept was in a studio with computer graphics making the viewer think it was anywhere in the world!

    6. My take on all this:

      1975-1984 - Best years of pop music and nostalgia, all original talent and joyous

      1985 - 1987 - first transition period - still more talent but first of the rubbish with stock-aitken-waterman leading the insurgence.

      1988 - 1995 - rubbish now takes the majority, but still some talent preserving with minority stake, e.g., Phil Collins, Meat Loaf, Elton John.

      1996 onwards - rubbish now fully taken over, and no going back. Even Meat Loaf has to videos with computer graphics and no location set, with his last on-location set being I'd Lie For You in 1995, with TOTP calling it a 'World Premiere' on the show in 1995.

    7. The two poor periods for me are:

      1986 - a bit like 1976 with some truly awful number ones and the charts lacking any sort of direction, reflected in a sharp drop in singles sales that year

      1991-93 - a lot of dross around, too many one hit wonders and not enough good new stuff to challenge the old guard

      I think standards fell in the latter half of the eighties but there's enough to keep me interested in the repeats.

    8. I would stay on these rerun blogs till 1995 if Angelo continues to serve these up that long, and for the reasons I mention above, and then I would definitely pull out. Anyway, it seems that Shakey Skerson left the building some while back during the 1984 repeats, and now Julie. Good Lord, who's next?

    9. me - at the end of this year. unless someone else jumps (the sinking) ship sooner!

    10. Seems that Starry has recently moved from part-timer to regular to fill some of the full time gap left by Shakerson and part-time gap left by Julie.

    11. I will definitely lose interest in 1985 and - especially - 1986, the nadir of music in my lifetime. Things pick up for me in 87, and as one of the few here (possibly the only one?) who loves SAW and who was listening to the chart every week again after a long break, I'm really looking forward to the 88-92 period. From 93 it goes downhill.

    12. Not the only one Noax - I think SAW did some good stuff.

    13. Heck, I'm still interested in contemporary music, even if I doubt I could tell you much about the modern charts. I find stuff in every era that I like (and dislike!).

    14. Me too but it tends not be what's in the charts. I still keep an eye on who's number one though.

    15. I lost touch with what was in the charts from 1996 onwards. 1995 was the fadeout year for me in pop music interest at the age of 27, just as the internet and laptops arrived and took over the making of pop videos, so at least I did not follow chart music in my thirties, as the next century was unrelenting in its technology, computerisation of people and places, videos being computer created, and performers being signed off by managers and had to be custom-packaged for consumption.

    16. if phil collins, meat loaf and elton john constitute the supposed good stuff of 1988-1995, then i'll happily take the "rubbish" like SAW thanks! i actually think there was a brief resurgence of quality music in the early 90's, as many musicians had stopped messing about with new technology for the sake of it and were now using it in harness with proper songwriting and production again. for me examples of that include acts like prefab sprout, electronic, crowded house, kd lang, seal, etc. and even duran duran transcended most of their 80's stuff with the "wedding" album!

    17. The 'wedding' album was one of the few records which everyone in my halls at uni liked, me included!

    18. Totally agree with you wilberforce. I consider myself lucky to have been an undergraduate from 1990-93 as for the most part there was loads of interesting stuff to listen to and play on the student radio station. Most of my favourite albums come from that era: Electribe 101, The Beloved, Saint Etienne, Primal Scream, Massive Attack.

    19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    20. Well I grew up being really aware of the charts from 1972 and stayed interested until the mid 90s, although it tapered off. I do remember stuff like 'Hey Jude' and 'Those were the Days' being no1 but I surprise myself still by just how many late 60s hits I never heard until much later in life.

      So I'll stay tuned to the ToTP repeats and this forum for the time being.

      1984 has been a bad year of no1s for me with 14 weeks of Frankie goes to Hollywood and 6 weeks of Stevie Wonder. The remainder of the year looks much better (even Frankie's final no1!).

    21. for anyone interested, here's a list of 10 tracks by rock/pop artists that epitomise the early 90's for me:

      annie lennox - why
      crowded house - she goes on
      duran duran - love voodoo
      electronic - disappointed
      kd lang - the mind of love
      happy mondays - step on
      pet shop boys - my october symphony
      poppy factory - stars
      prefab sprout - all the world loves lovers
      seal - a prayer for the dying
      world party - show me to the top

    22. I'll pick out two from yours as exceptional talent, i.e., Electronic and The Happy Mondays, and I'll raise you for one more - The KLF - with just about everything they did on that now infamous album The White Room, which I think was one of the best albums of the early 90s, and which I think Noax forgot to mention as the best part of a being a student in 1990-93.

    23. Yep - good pick Dory, I did indeed neglect that one!

      Nice choices too wilberforce, though I can only just remember the Poppy Factory one! You could have chosen pretty much any song from PSB's 'Behaviour' album and I would have agreed (the only duffer on that for me is 'So Hard' - naturally the biggest hit)

    24. i was never a fan of the klf - too much sampling going down for me i'm afraid! i should also mention that after all the early self-indulgent solo rubbish and distractions like saving the rain forest (remember the ethnic south americanguy with the CD stuck in his lower lip?), sting made a great comeback in the early 90's with "10 summoner's tales"

    25. I may also stop blogging at the end of 1984 as for me that time represented the end of an era. I left Our Price at the start of '85 and it was also at that point that I stopped listening to chart music so much and started being interested in other genres.

    26. Oh and I should have said goodbye and good luck Julie... I always admired your knowledge of music and instruments on display here and putting us right when we got it wrong.

    27. Music changes. I agree with THX about finding stuff in every era. I just like discovering stuff, the more styles and periods the better. The charts are just a starting point, though there's still plenty to look through there.

      It takes effort though and it's a two way process. To get to like things from a style you have to hear a load of music from that style so you can hear what is more creative and what is just generic. I don't think someone's recommendations are a way in, the brain has to adapt.

    28. maybe we should all resign en masse as reviewers of old totp's at the end of 1984? it definitely seems to be a watershed in many people's eyes in terms of the end of a golden era, and (with relatively-few exceptions) the consequent decline into the crap that purports to be pop music these days...

    29. also starry: with regard to contemporary chart music, how much shit do you need to eat before you realise it tastes awful?

    30. Granted Wilberforce that 1985 was the beginning of manufactured pop with the likes of Stock Aitken Waterman etc, but it did not happen overnight, and it was not until the end of 1995 that it took full control and pushed aside completely the 'original' artists with 'individuality' that we saw 100% up until the end of 1984.

      If we give 10% each year to manufactured pop from 1985, and take away 10% each year from the 'original/individuality' from that same starting point, this would support my theory in that 'it isn't over till it's over' and 'over' was complete by the end of 1995.

      This transitional period between 1985-1995 was the proportional rise of manufacture with proportional decline of originality and 'real' music that you refer to Wilberforce, and as some of you guys were well into your twenties by 1984, and had enough by then, I was still only 16, and could still appreciate music till my mid-20s or so i.e., till around 1995, and so I reckon I'm staying on for another 10 years of these reruns if BBC4 and Angelo continue with these reruns and blogs.

    31. Wilberforce, the charts now aren't as important, there's so much more available now (which is good). The problem I've got is people just writing all music off based on some more famous chart music. 'Pop' itself tends to be defined very narrowly by people now, but I don't agree with that. And anyway I'm happy to listen to less pop genres too.

      My nostalgia period ended by mid 85 at the latest but later I wanted to retrieve all the lost years and enjoy all the later music I could enjoy. I'd rather do that than worry about some big hits I'll never like, I don't see music as being limited to that.

      S/A/W did some stuff I'll never like (Jason Donovan), some I'll tolerate just about (I Should Be So Lucky) and some things I do like. But I think their importance is rather overrated. Other music was around then, and they themselves were influenced by others.

      I think 87 is probably the weakest year of that period for British music, but there's still a reasonable amount of stuff I can like. I don't know how much gets on totp but I look beyond that. Even in 84 we didn't get White Lines or Madam Butterly I think.

    32. I actually think Too Many Broken Hearts by Jason Donovan is a great pop single. Was never keen on Kylie's Lucky, though, she hadn't learned to sing properly on her early singles.

    33. how true was the rumour that other (proper) singers had their voices blended in with hers on the SAW recordings? regarding actors having a go at being pop stars: i have read that robson and jerome never actually went anywhere near a studio, and that whatever mogul was responsible (either simon fuller or simon cunthell) hired the singer from jigsaw (called des something, who i think appeared on one of the first editions of these re-reruns) to secretly pretend to be either one or both of them!

    34. I hope the repeats do continue until the late 80s.
      Started watching regularly in 85 (when I bought my first single) and was a R1 chart listener form 86-98 (think I might have missed less than 10 in that whole time)
      85-88 was my real pop loving years before Dance and Indie took over in about 92.
      Now I just live in the, 80s
      SAW wrote many a good tune but by 89 they were producing so much it all became a bit samey. Imagine if your favourite artist released 10 albums a year. Just overkill I think.

  9. Very polarised show for me this one. Either love ‘em or hate ‘em…
    Bronski beat – Why - Off to a bad start. FF

    Cars – Drive – Sheer class. Thanks again to Wilberforce for the tip-off regarding ‘Heartbeat City’. Great video too; love the barman gliding and those wonderful chord changes that underpin the song.

    John Waite – Missing you – Former ‘Baby’ John hits at home after his stateside success. One of those songs that has endured over the years and it still sounds great.

    Moroder and Oakey – Together in Electric Dreams – Followed by another that has endured and featured some truly gooey chord changes. Never seen the film before but some intriguing snatches here. I always wondered whether the HL girls sung the backing vocals that really make this song. Phil has commented that the line “though you’re miles and miles away…” was an in-joke pun on the leading character called Miles. Love the way ToTP put the caption at the end ‘Phil Oakley’! It’s correct on the chart rundown though.

    Culture Club – War Song – Profound lyrics….FF

    Paul McCartney – No more lonely Nights – Some 7 “singles called them ‘lonley nights’…. Great song with some nice guitar licks. Never found out who played on this track though. Not seen ‘Give my regards to Broad Street’ but on this evidence it looks like modern day meets Dickens!

    Stranglers – Skin Deep – Another underrated track by the former punk band who look very well turned out these days. I still prefer ‘Golden Brown’ though.

    Adam Ant – Apollo 9 – Another enthusiastic performance of this 1981 throwback song.

    Stevie Wonder – I just called to say I love you – oh per-lease!

    Freddie Mercury – Love kills playout – Second playout for this great track, maybe there was no video? However, it gets a long playout or at least they recorded a long playout.

    ps. bye Julie. You'll be missed.

    1. As mentioned above, it's none other than Dave Gilmour playing the guitar for Macca here.

    2. Ooops I did it again....forgot to read Angelo's John just points out! No wonder the guitar work was so good!

    3. Gilmour was also guitarist on Macca's Run Devil Run album in 1999. The Broad Street soundtrack itself had quite a stellar line up with Eric Stewart and Ringo Starr both involved.

    4. mr gilmour of pink floyd fame is on record for wishing to be addressed as "david", and NOT "dave"!

    5. I seem to recall the Love Kills video was the clip from the bit of Metropolis where it's heard.

    6. The only 'Dave' reference I can find on all my Floyd and solo albums is on 'Meddle' from 1971. Perhaps he wasn't so fussy then!

    7. Wilberforce - I was aware of Mr Gilmour's preferences, so I deliberately choose to ignore them!

  10. The Cars - I've always liked this song, but had somehow never seen the video before (or maybe I did but it got overwritten in my memory by the Ethiopian footage a year later) which is surprisingly intense. A close of friend of mine who passed away always cited this as his favourite song and I introduced him to a cover version by The Paradise Motel which came out in 1999 (I think) which was played at his funeral so this song always reminds me of him.

    John Waite - This, however, is drivel.

    Moroder / Oakey - As others have said, the movie looks very stereotypically 80s. I've always liked the song which despite lots of airplay down the years is good enough not to be a 'housewife classic'.

    Culture Club - A misunderstood, I can't keep it up. It's rubbish.

    Paul McCartney - Non-interesting fact: I used to live on Broad Street when I was in Carlisle. Unlike our previous movie video, this video gives you no real idea as to what the film is about although by all accounts it's a confusing mess so maybe it actually does! The song is alright, though I think I'm one of the few who prefers the Arthur Baker Dance Mix, which for some strange reason was Track 1 on NOW 4.

    The Stranglers - I really like this one, in fact overall I prefer their 80s songs to their 70s output. This is one of many songs featured on the show recently to appear on The Hits Album, the new rival to the NOW series. I'm pretty sure I got the cassette for Christmas, and have only recently finally got an LP version as I already had most of the others on vinyl!

  11. An audience member at this show has put a brief but interesting blog on the following site if anyone's interested -

  12. A bit late but I'm hanging on for a while longer...

    A very long show at nearly 41 minutes and video-heavy show presented by Slimey and Dickie, the former wearing one of those type of leather jackets/blousons that dads in their thirties wore in the eighties.

    A return visit for Bronski Beat and I thought Jimmy looked a bit subdued compard to last time. Maybe he was told off by Mr Hurll for blowing the camera a kiss. Full marks for doing the whole aong again though.

    The Cars with a depressing song that was made all the more so when it was later hooked up to Live Aid. A good video though, if a disturbing one. I'm particularly intrigued by the girl with the crayon and the robotic barman.

    I liked John Waite when he was with The Babys and thought it was a crime that Isn't It Time wasn't a bigger hit back in 1978. This one I wasn't so bothered about but I guess it's a song that grows on you. Like mould. And I'm not very impressed with hid performance. I wish he wouldn't keep looking at the camera.

    I liked Together In Electric dreams although I never saw the film. On various Human League Gretest Hits or Best Ofs this is usually included as well it was a biggish hit and it sounds more like The Human League than Moroder. I like the way the video combines clips from the film with Phlokey's performance in a clever way, not all videos do that.

    Culture Club I dismissed as tosh at the time but I don't mind it so much now and I'm pretty impressed with Claire Tory's vocals in the middle bit which remind me of Pink Floyd Dark Side of The Moon and Spiral by Harry Roche where she used a similar technique. But I bet Helen Terry was pissed off.

    Paul McCartney also borrows from '70s Pink Floyd with long sustained guitar solos. Terrible film but a great song and a fantastic video.

    I Loved The Stranger's Skin Deep at the time but thjen I had to as i worked with two of the guys who started their fan club. This single had a great B-side as well called Here and There. Not sure the vacuous podium dancing is really approproate here for a song about fair-weather friends and untrustworthy people. Or perhaps it is.

    Adam Ant is for some reason dresed as an astronaught dressed as a cowboy. Why? What did it all mean? Who cares, it's still a great song and performed with much panach and humour.

    Stevie still boring the pants of everyone at numero uno and then playout wuith Love Kills again. I had forgotten this got so high in the chart.

  13. "spiral" (credited to the harry roche constellation, but written and arranged by pete moore of "pearl and dean" music fame) is perhaps the best british blaxploitation track ever recorded (all 10 minutes of it). also: a bit of a freudian slip by bama here, referring to adam ant as an "astroNAUGHT"!

  14. Good episode.
    I liked most of he early Bronski tracks, not sure why (did you see what I did there?), and this was no exception.
    Cars - We used to cover a track called 'You Might Think' - don't know if that made TOTP - It had a very silly video.
    No More Lonely Nights - I remeber going to the cineam to see the film - I remember it as a load of tosh. Wonder what I would think if I saw it now...
    The Stranglers are one of my favourite bands. This track hardly gets played on the radio.