Thursday, 8 February 2018

Now That We've Found Top of the Pops

This edition of Top of the Pops from March 21st 1985 will not be shown on BBC4 because the BBC have lost their copy of it! But not to worry, because (thanks to Neil B?) we've found it here at We Transfer

Between the videos

21/03/85 (Mike Read & Steve Wright)

Nik Kershaw – “Wide Boy” (12)
Peaked at number 9.

Third World – “Now That We’ve Found Love” (37) (breaker)
This re-issue of their number 10 hit from 1978 peaked at number 22.

The Alarm – “Absolute Reality” (35) (breaker)
Went no higher.

Glenn Frey – “The Heat Is On” (34) (breaker)
Another eagle soars into the charts, and like Don Henley also peaking at number 12.

Starvation – “Starvation” (33) (breaker)
A charity record for Ethiopia but it got no higher.

Billy Bragg – “Between The Wars” (15)
Doing it completely live of course, but the song was at its peak.

Sarah Brightman & Paul Miles-Kingston – “Pie Jesu” (14) (video)
Peaked at number 3.

Loose Ends – “Hanging On A String (Contemplating)” (20)
Peaked at number 13.

Philip Bailey & Phil Collins – “Easy Lover” (1) (video)
First of four weeks at number one.

The Power Station – “Some Like It Hot” (17) (audience dancing/credits)
The super group's biggest hit, peaking at number 14.

Is everyone keeping up? :-)
Coming next is March 28th 1985.


  1. Interesting Angelo that the BBC have 'lost' their copy of this show. Does this mean that is going to be referred to on Popscene as 'lost', like the others in the 70s as 'wiped'?

    Third World - I just love this record, and it was nice to keep the 1978 original video for this 1985 re-release. A real dance floor classic through the decades.

    Sarah Brightman & Paul Miles-Kingston - Good Lord, what was this concoction of mature woman singing with teenage boy? Unusually I don't recall this at all, but the video is somewhat interesting to say the least, and will need a viewing in full over the weekend. There's no doubt that Brightman has a distinctive voice, and a far cry from her days as a Hot Gossip dancer in the late 70s. My how she has come on since!

    1. Possibly. it went walkies after being loaned out by the BBC to a videotape transfer facility in 1993 and never being returned.

    2. I heard from people on Digital Spy that they do have it, but they can't show it. UK Gold had a copy in the 90's and it didn't pass the epilepsy compliance so they didn't air it and I imagine the BBC would be much stricter than Gold. Apparently this affects Wide Boy and Some Like It Hot (opening and playout) and on it's original airing they got so complaints about the light they changed them back to the originals the next week!

    3. Well it's all very mysterious isn't it? And who doesn't like a bit of a conspiracy theory every now and then?

  2. i'd like to say "another day, another totp review", but i can't as it's the second one within an hour! four shows loaded up in one evening must surely be a record for this blog, but thanks as ever to angelo for putting in the effort

    nik kershaw: one of his better offerings, but as ever he can't resist chucking in something unexpected
    and slightly-at-odds with the rest of it (modulation between chorus and next verse in this case) to stop it from being a straightforward pop effort

    billy bragg: i know this guy has his fans, but in view he can't carry a tune in a bucket. and as such should have stuck to providing material for the likes of kirsty maccoll who could

    brightman/miles-kingston: in the interests of reviewing these shows do usually try and make an effort to at least listen to a bit of the stuff i haven't heard in ages because i thought it was dreadful at the time. but i'm going to have to make an exception for this i'm afraid

    loose ends: the "story of 1985" was making a big deal about this lot being the first home-grown soul/dance act to break through to the british pop charts, although to be frank that wasn't really the case. this rip-off of the patented jam & lewis groove (actually produced by white american nick martinelli, who'd had a hit the previous year with terri wells' excellent version of "i'll be around") is okay, but nothing to get too excited about. sadly in the wake of this breakthrough they didn't re-release the far superior "choose me" that was a flop a few months earlier. there are quite a few songs where a nonsensical bit has been added to the title in brackets (the boomtown rats' "elephant's graveyard (guilty)" immediately springs to mind), but in this case the added "(contemplating)" merely seems pointless

    power station: another one i'd not heard for decades, and a refresher reminds me that it's not-very-good funk rock. the drummer on this is chic's tony thompson, although for some strange reason john and andy taylor's namesake and ex-duran colleague roger was roped in to do the timbale-style overdubs. the video features a model called tula who was already known at this point for being a transexual (and had caused some outrage/hoo ha accordingly as a result), although i don't know if the band themselves were aware of that?

    1. I remember thinking at the time that Robert Palmer took on a more punchy alpha-male style with the new Power Station outfit, a bit like Paul Weller in the days of The Jam before his girlfriend-influenced softer style with Style Council. Palmer went in the opposite direction, from soft style solo to punchy alpha-male Power station. Just love this playout track!

    2. You could argue Palmer then tried to enhance his alpha-male image with the famous (or infamous) Addicted to Love video the following year.

    3. i wonder what dory makes of the model in the power station video?

    4. It's a pity that this playout was the only time that The Power Station got any play of this track, so fair enough it's now time to see the video, and yeah, the model is hot, and more curiously Palmer is dressed as a clergyman in the video, and I don't see the connection. Interesting to note that The Power Station included John and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, plus Tony Thompson from Chic. Hmm...

    5. Suffice to say, the lyrics are quite raunchy, like, "feel the heat, burning you up, ready or not"...and "she wants to multiply, how you gonna do it"...."I know you won't be satisified, until you do it"......Good Lord, it's like Frankie GTH again with Relax, so why did The Power Station not get to No.1 like Frankie?

  3. Bit of a rant here. I really, really f#cking hate it when we get clips of songs or dance routines on "The Story Of..." only for the complete song or routine to be on a show which we don't get to see due either to some DJ problem or, in this case, when the BBC didn't have their own copy! It's a regular occurrence year on year and I'm sick of it.

    I haven't seen this edition yet (typing this at work) but, bearing in mind the picture quality of the Loose Ends and Billy Bragg clips in "The Story of 1985" was perfectly adequate if a bit light / foggy, and bearing in mind we've been shown editions in this re-run of less than pristine condition before (white video fleck marks at the bottom of one show, another with a sort of soft focus picture quality), could they not have bitten the bullet and aired this version?

    1. Apparently they have a complete copy, they just can't air it as it didn't pass epilepsy compliance. UK Gold said the same thing in the 90's according to people on Digital Spy.

  4. Whatever the precise reason for BBC4 not showing this one, at least we have still got to see it, though I would not exactly call it a classic. Read and Wright present a study in contrasts, Mike acting smooth and self-assured, Wrighty once again showing himself up as a total cretin. It seems from what Billy Bragg said in The Story of 1985 as if it really did take Wrighty three attempts to understand what Between the Wars was about, suggesting a complete ignorance (or complete lack of interest, or both) in the Great Depression and the foundation of the Welfare State...

    Nik Kershaw once again has a band with him for this performance. You don't tend to hear the song nowadays, but it's a decent effort with some nice guitar at the end - I can't say the lights bothered me watching this. We then go directly to the breakers. I don't know why the Third World track was reissued at this point, but this was the first time the promo had ever been shown on TOTP, as it didn't get an airing in 1978. A typically shouty offering from The Alarm to follow, with the band looking cold on a rooftop somewhere, before Glenn Frey crops up in black-and-white looking unrecognisable from his Eagles heyday - this will be on again anon. I've never heard the Starvation track before, but on this evidence I don't think I've missed much. I wonder if this was partly UB40 salving their consciences for not being involved in Band Aid?

    Mr Bragg is indeed completely live here, and he is quite compelling and impressive. This show went out only a couple of weeks after the miners' strike had come to its bitter end, which may have lent some extra force to the performance. Things then get even more sombre with Pie Jesu, part of Requiem, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical tribute to his late father. My initial feeling was that this should have been released at Christmas, but the video is so grim and depressing I can see why it wasn't - even the two singers look scary! We will be seeing a lot more of Sarah Brightman over the next year or so, thanks to the imminent appearance of her then-husband's next musical extravaganza...

    Loose Ends' female singer looks like a glammed up air stewardess, lending a bit of visual sparkle to a slick but forgettable song which doesn't sound to me like much of a new direction for black British music. We get clips of two new videos in the Top 10, Paul Young keeping the sombre theme going by getting drenched while walking across a recreation of the Western Front, while Alf is accompanied in her promo by a rather naff cartoon devil. The Power Station to close - there is a good tune lurking somewhere in here, and Robert Palmer's vocals lend it a bit of class, but it is horribly overproduced. Having said that, the audience seem to be having a good dance to it.

    1. I can only imagine that Third World may have featured on some advert on ITV or Channel 4 to gain enough interest to release the song in 1985, as similar situations have happened with other songs resurrected through TV commercials.

      I don't recall the Starvation track at all, but I quite liked the collaboration of UB40 with The Beat, like it was 1980 all over again as the debut year for both bands.

      UB40 had a similar style collaboration with Afrikka Bambaata three years later in 1988 with the brilliant Reckless, which I remember was shown on The Chart Show where the video featured a blonde hottie in a shiny red dress on the dance floor fending off UB40's Ali's advances, saying "This is not the right time baby, I came here to groove":

      Suffice to say the same blonde hottie later in the video had to also fend off Bambaata and his disco floor friends from their amorous advances, saying, "just get away from me, I know a man who knows how to groove."

  5. Maybe Angelo should put an epilepsy warning at the link? I suppose if it's dangerous to show, fair enough, but they could have just said "This programme contains strobing" at the start. Not much good if you miss the start, of course.

    Anyway, Nik to begin, and he's brought a band this time. Seems to be having misgivings about the music industry, or the meteoric success he'd enjoyed at least. But a solid pop tune as usual.

    Breakers already? Third World - why was this out again? Anyone know? The Alarm - lacking the hooks of their previous hits. Glenn Frey - this week's song from a movie. Starvation - means well, but difficult to be enthusiastic about it musically.

    Billy Bragg, a great ear for a tune, but a voice that was an acquired taste to say the least. Maybe better suited to The Oxford Road Show (was that still on?) than the lightweight Pops.

    Then to bring the mood down even further, Sarah 'n' Paul offer a miserable video where a pair of greeting weans watch firemen dig out the bodies of their parents from their bombed out home. Accompanied by a religious song, as if that's any comfort. Very odd, who did this appeal to?

    Loose Ends, not terrific but a step up in the party stakes from what's just been on, like the burbling bassline and synths but the melody is too basic.

    Skip the Phils to get to the falling down stairs racket of Power Station. Sounds really awkward, despite Robert Palmer's best efforts.

  6. Thanks again Neil B. As other people have already remarked, not a classic edition but great to see it for the continuity. Hosts quite a contrast with smooth Mike and skitty Steve.

    Nik Kershaw – Wide Boy- Nice instrumentation from Nik and the band makes this sound quite refreshing. I checked how many US hits Nik managed just out of interest. Zero.

    Breakers – Third World – don’t recall this version, only some version with a DJ ‘singing’ along to it a few years later and then seguing into another song I can’t remember. The Alarm – complete blank this and no desire to get further acquainted. Glenn Frey (pronounced ‘Fry’ incidentally) was a surprise solo entry as was Don Henley a few weeks earlier. With the Eagles in their ‘Hell Freezes over’ era the solo output was all we had that was any way Eagles related and this was an infectious piece in the Beverley Hills Cop period. We heard nothing from Don Felder, Timothy B Schmidt and Joe Walsh during this era which goes to show where the real talent was, however Glenn had no hand in writing this; instead it was co-written by Harold Faltermeyer who we will be hearing from soon and who featured on the B Side of this hit. Finally Starvation prove that they ain’t no Band Aid.

    Billy Bragg ¬ - Between the Wars – Hasty FF.

    Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles-Kingston – Pie Jesu – Ah that’s more like it. Despite a very worrying looking video, this sounds great. I love the bit towards the end where the whole choir comes in. Great to hear this again.

    Loose Ends – Hanging on a string – FF. But worth noting that ‘lose’ is one of the most commonly misspelt words in the English language with so many people spelling it ‘loose’.

    Top10 rundown – Video clips getting ever shorter, especially for droppers. Paul Young’s video looks a soggy affair whilst in the main rundown, eagle eyed spotters would have seen Phyllis Nelson moving closer to the top spot and appearing for the first time in the top40 after lurking around the lower regions of the charts for six weeks already.

    Phil Bailey and Phil Collins – Easy Lover – Can never get tired of this. I bought the 12” version of this at the time and it is one that I have kept.

    Power Station – Some like it hot playout – Lukewarm effort for me.

    Can I just say, much as I love ToTP, what a pain it’s been rattling through so many shows in such a short space of time. Around Christmas we had weeks of nothing and then we hit this ‘can’t show/won’t show’ buffer and it’s a huge jump from 07/03 to 04/04. Goodness know how many hits BBC4 viewers are missing.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I live quite close to a village called Loose, but confusingly it is pronounced as "lose." I am sure this is a great relief to the local WI...

    3. ha ha sct, i pointed out the "lose"/"loose" mispelling phenomenom on this blog a while back! is there any explanation for it? it's become a bit like an "eggcorn", whereby something that is slightly erroneous becomes accepted perceived wisdom...

    4. Americans seem to misspell lose as loose, don't know if it's a disease that's affected people over here that much yet.

      Pie Jesu I remember from the time as well, quite sweet. A classical type piece so strange it's in the charts, but it's the variety you got in the charts sometimes.

      Some Like It Hot I can like more these days, like other heavier styled music.

    5. so that's where it comes from starry? but believe me, it's become pretty contagious in blighty nowadays (if i had a pound the number of times i've seen it written wrongly). and it's not just the yoof of today either, but people old enough to know better!

      hmmm, i've got a thought brewing in my mind where i go out and ask a hundered people to write out a simple sentence like "i've got nothing to lose", and see how many add an extra "o" in the last word...

    6. ha ha - that should be "hundred" of course. but unlike the "loose" brigade at least i know i've made an error!

    7. The other commonly mispelt word is 'accommodation' with one 'm'. Like wilberforce, if I'd collected a pound every time...

    8. 18 years ago, nobody could spell "millennium"! Another weird one is getting bear and bare mixed up - considering the confusion saying one when you mean the other could create, it's surprising people aren't more careful.

      Don't get me started on apostrophes...

    9. whats an apostrophe? just joking!

    10. Root cause anyone? Often written 'route cause'.

    11. And people getting their as and es mixed up - then/than, woman/women, etc! Nobody did that when I was a kid, so why do people do it now?

    12. Not forgetting "would of" instead of "would have". Grrr!

      By the way, of those Eagles who weren't having hits at this time, Joe Walsh had already made number 14 back in 1978 with the bragtastic (not Braggtastic) "Life's Been Good".

    13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    14. sct35312 February 2018 at 12:01

      My favourite Eagles solo(ish) hits are as follows:-

      Don & Glenn - their recent 1985 hits we've just seen.
      Joe Walsh - Rocky Mountain Way
      Timothy B Schmidt - Rose of Cimarron (with Poco)
      Randy Meisner - Gotta get away

      Don't know any Don Felder solo stuff.

    15. another really annoying commonplace spelling error (and thx, there's a bit more to it than just leaving out an apostrophe) is: "your" instead of "you're"

    16. @Wilberforce: I know, there's also adding grocer's apostrophes to things like plurals.

    17. thx i had to look up "grocer's apostrophes" to find out what that meant. and i have to confess that as in the article below, at one time i was prone to (mis)writing "its" as "it's"!

  7. Here's a better quality version of Nik Kershaw performing Wide Boy in the Top of the Pops studios. The flashing lights are pretty prominent, so don't watch if you they might cause a problem:

  8. Thanks to our contraband provider.

    Bloody Hell, surely a pre-programme warning to viewers about the lighting would have sufficed. So we missed this edition due to about 30 seconds’ worth of crap ‘up shot’ camera work giving more focus on the crap new light effects either end of this show?

    If only Nik Kershaw had dressed up as Ted Bovis like he did in the video. I’d forgotten this song and really enjoyed it.

    I take it the temperature was too hot in that studio for Third World to keep their shirts on.

    The Alarm there with “Absolutely Forgettable”.

    The heat is certainly on for Glenn Frey – he looked a bit sweaty to me. Urggh!

    There was also a Madness element to Starvation, as two of the band appeared on the song and it was issued on Madness’s own Zarjazz label. I can’t help thinking, though, they’d have sold more if they’d gone down the Band Aid –type medical route and called themselves Elastoplast.

    From this week’s 33 to last week’s 33 and an evocative performance by Billy Bragg, complete with unusual claw / pincer top to his guitar’s fretboard.

    F#ck me, that video for “Pie Jesu” was depressing. I last heard this in the scene in “The Royle Family” where Caroline Aherne’s character is rushed off to hospital after her waters have broken.

    Window or aisle? Chicken or beef? It’s Loose Ends Airlines, Complete with Carl’s relentless right angle leg dancing moves.

    I’d hate to have been Paul Young’s director asking for a re-take of the sub-Bryan Adams rain video.

    We end with The Power Station. If ever there was an example of the sum of the parts not equalling the anticipated whole, this was it.

    1. Paul Young's video looked post-apocalyptic to me. Nice to know he'd survive to entertain those left behind.

  9. Chalk me up as another mystified as to why we couldn't see this, even if it involved an on-air warning and massive bloody caption at the start...

    Nik Kershaw - I was hoping to see the full Teddy Boy and 'tache gear too, Arthur. No matter, still a fun song and performance.

    Breakers: Third World - So many questions. Why was this re-released? Why are they repeatedly asking us to 'make Nanny's soup'?
    The Alarm song is dreadful, and Glenn Frey's is yet another from this era that I played quite enough on the radio, thanks. As for Starvation, well...couldn't they just have given Band Aid some money?!

    Billy Bragg - I've made my feelings quite clear on him already. I suppose I have to give him credit for playing live at least.

    Brightman / Miles-Kingston - Not for me. Pop quiz time! This is one of only Top 40 hits sung entirely in Latin, can you name the other one? (note 'sung' so - for example, In Dulci Jubilo doesn't count as it's an instrumental)

    Loose Ends - Despite being no lover of mid-80s soul, I am fond of this, backwards cowbell and all.

    The Power Station I always found utterly awful. Production method: Everything and about a dozen kitchen sinks.

    1. Ruined my own quiz there. That should read ' of only 2 Top 40 hits..' though you probably got the gist.

    2. Is it "Sadness, Part 1" by Enigma?

    3. Great guess Arthur, but no. One section of that is in French!

    4. Oh, hang on - "Gaudete" by Steeleye Span?

    5. so is arthur right about "gaudete"?

    6. Kept you waiting, didn't I? I can now reveal that Arthur is correct!

  10. I am just about keeping up Angelo but only because I have the weeks off work - trust me to join in now....

    Interesting to note that the BBC clearly have this edition (as per the clips from TOTP85) but couldn't show it. Not a great quality copy for us to view but thanks to Neil B for putting it up. Much appreciated.

    Never understood why BBC4 couldn't just show the performance and videos from the skipped shows a mini-highlights type program after the late night repeat?

    Nik K and his band have been ambushed by Kings hairdresser this week - really becoming a fan of his stuff through these repeats.

    Straight into the Breakers this week - a better position for them I think even if we have 3 duds and 1 good song.
    Third World - Not a reggae fan or a fan of this song but interesting to hear where Heavy D borrowed it from for his 90s hit which I really liked.
    The Alarm - one of those bands that always seemed to be on TOTP or the Breakers growing up but never really liked their songs and this one isn't up to much
    The "rose between thorns" is Glenn Frey - another Eagle doing well. Judging by the video this is a Beverly Hill Cop movie I guess.
    Starvation - asked last week who they were (UB40 and friends) and now we get to hear a bit of "reggae-aid" and it's not up to much.

    Next up Billy Bragg - not a fan of him or this song but fair play for the live rendition which he performs well.

    Sarah Brightman was a big star in the 80s I recall and this was before her big "Phantom" moment.
    Paul Miles-Kingston - now is this lad any relation to Jules Miles-Kingston who had a hit (Comment tu de adieu - I think) with Jimmy Sommerville in 89 which is a great record.
    I can see why this did so well - quite a powerful video and musicals were all the rage at the time weren't they.

    Good to see Loose Ends in the studio,

    Charts next
    Who were "Big Daddy" and how did they miss being at least a breaker?
    Good to see Paul Young, Alison Moyet and Go West doing well.
    Dead or Alive took a bit of a tumble didn't they...people obviously sick of this one already.

    Unlike the Phils who get to number one very quickly indeed. 4 weeks at the top which is probably why this sticks in the mind so much. Don't remember a live performance of this one which is fine as I really like the video.

    I did wonder if we would ever see Power Station - an odd song with a really dull melody and verse that breaks into a storming chorus.

    A poor edition this week for me, saved by Nik and Loose Ends.
    Read solid as usual, Wrighty is prat (but he's still a prat today so at least he is consistent)

    Right off to play some PS4 and watch some Doctor Who...see you all tomorrow...

    1. Just looked up Big Daddy

      Doing for Springstein what Mike Flowers did for Oasis

      Oh dear

    2. Big Daddy was the only chart act for short-lived indie label Making Waves, whose head office was at one stage a flat in Gunnersbury overlooking the tube line. I know this as I went there for a job interview (one of four record companies I had interviews with for a job in marketing - I ended up in the less exciting world of insurance!).

    3. I quite liked Big Daddy's cover - the kind of stuff that was being done by almost everybody about 20 years later!
      Their version of 'Like A Virgin' is, if anything, even more entertaining.

  11. And more on that Big Daddy single...

    According to the bespoke 45cat website, they'd previously released two singles on Making Waves and then covered the Broooce song, which was then matched up with three of the four tracks on those first two singles and re-sold as the "Dancing In The Dark EP", even though said track was on the AA-side and not the A-side. In fact, the two sides making up their second single were on the A-side of the EP. This was obviously a rushed job, as the back of the sleeve says this is their second single - it copies word for word the detail on their actual second single with no mention of "Dancing In The dark" in the blurb at all!

    1. Wow Arthur. That's some research. Thanks.

      Its still rubbish though.. 😀

  12. Thanks, Morgie. Now for a bit of research on "Starvation", which was a song by The Pioneers. The charity collective was originally going to be called 2-Tone All Stars and the idea was to rectify the fact that Band Aid had few black and no African artists taking part. The AA-side is "Tam-Tam Pour L'Ethiopie", the name of both the song and the act which consisted of African artists singing in a variety of African languages. A rare case of a 'split single' where the bands on both sides share their name with their song.

    1. So after some research of my own it appears the two Miles-kingstons are NOT related at all.
      Paul was a very posh choir boy who is now head of music at a very posh school.
      June was a punk rocker and drummer who has drummed for Fun Boy Three and The Communards as well as her hit with Jimmy

      Chalk and Cheese 🧀

    2. Not to get mixed up with the writer and humourist Miles Kington, either (inventor of Franglais).