Friday, 23 February 2018

T - t - t - t - t - t - Top of the Pops

In 1975 the average weekly viewing figures for Top of the Pops was 15 million. In 1985 the average was n - n - n - nine million....

I Feel Top of the Pops

09/05/85  (Janice Long & John Peel)

The Style Council – “Walls Come Tumbling Down” (13)
The Style Council get this live show underway and this first single from their number one album Our Favourite Shop took no crap and peaked at number 6.

Freddie Mercury – “I Was Born To Love You” (11) (video)
Now at its peak.

Steve Arrington – “Feel So Real” (7)
Went up two more places.

Godley & Crème – “Cry” (19) (video)
Despite this eye catching video Cry got no higher in the charts.

Curtis Hairston – “I Want Your Lovin’ (Just A Little Bit)” (16)
Went up three more places.

Bryan Ferry – “Slave To Love” (30) (breaker)
Became his final top ten hit when it peaked at number 10.

Kim Wilde – “Rage To Love” (29) (breaker)
Peaked at number 19.

Divine – “Walk Like A Man” (25) (breaker)
Went up two more places.

Jimmy Nail – “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” (20) (breaker)
The first of three top ten hits for Jimmy, this Rose Royce cover peaking at number 3.

Top Ten Videos:
Phil Collins - "One More Night" (10) (video clip)
DeBarge - "Rhythm Of The Night" (9) (video clip)
Simple Minds - "Don't You (Forget About Me)" (8) (video clip)
Steve Arrington - "Feel So Real" (7) (video clip)
U2 - "The Unforgettable Fire" (6) (video clip)
USA For Africa - "We Are The World" (5) (video clip)
Tears For Fears - "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" (4) (video clip)

Bronski Beat & Marc Almond – “I Feel Love” (3)
A more confident performance this time but the song got ho higher.

Paul Hardcastle – “19” (1) (video)
The first of five weeks at n-n-n-number one.

The Untouchables – “Free Yourself” (31) (audience dancing/credits)
Their only top 40 hit, peaking at number 26.

The Style Council interviewed on The Old Grey Whistle Test

May 16th is next.


  1. I looked on google and the average age of a soldier in Vietnam was apparently about 22.

    The best part of it for me are the spoken word elements which feel like they give some authority, the music rather less so (the sung parts I like the least).

    I like his electro version of Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag from January a lot more, the music there has much more power to me, after you get over the quirky gremlin start.

  2. style council: oh no, not the bloody modfather bellowing and ranting away again? next

    freddie mercury: prior to seeing the tracklisting for this show, all i could remember from his jagger-style efforts to have hits as a solo artist whilst still a member of the superstar band he fronted (i suppose at least unlike jagger he managed that to a degree) was his note-for-note cover of the old platters tune "the great pretender". after that i had a vague recollection of this, but not to the point where a listen made me realise (or more likely reminded me) that it sounded like very cheesy disco circa 1978. despite having the oppportunity to come out as a solo act, freddie still tries to (not very effectively) hide in the closet with this self-written paean to heterosexual attraction. mind you, his "love interest" in the video certainly has a look of androgyny about her. if not drag queen

    steve arrington: his appearance in the studio is on yt, so i tried to listen to this in a bit more detail. but not only is he as boring as the song, the cringeworthy opening couplet of the first verse ("oh i feel so nice, with you here by my side") meant i had to pull the plug on it. and it doesn't properly rhyme either, to boot

    godley and creme: although i've played this sublime track many times over the years (a trevor horn production by the way, but unlike frankie there was actually a tune to work with) i haven't seen the video (that they of course directed themselves) for ages. so i refreshed my memory now via good old yt (what would we do without that now?). as someone else has remarked, there are some pretty scary faces there - especially the arthur mullard clone and the cranial man (i remember g&c being interviewed, saying they went to some kind of model agency and deliberately picked-out faces of "character"). but i found the women miming to kevin godley's singing more unsettling. plus the fact that i can't help be reminded of those old propaganda films the nazis shot where they made ghetto-ised jews pose for the camera

    curtis hairston: sorry john, but i still think his name sounds silly (it's the "hair" bit that bothers me). another american import without a band, or at least some dancers to back him up and make him seem a bit more interesting. but the track is definitely preferable to the steve arrington effort, even though i'm still in two minds about adding it to my 80's dance collection or not

    untouchables: i've never heard of this lot before, never mind the track. the playout bit was on yt (i note janice is keen to let us know that she knows peter powell intimately) so i was able to give it a listen and ascertain that (like new model army last week) it was some kind of late 70's post-punk throwback/anachronism. that is apart from the bassline, which other than speeded up is a complete lift from "billie jean"!

    1. I remember Freddie's take on The Great Pretender well, but I suspect the non-Queen hit of his most people will recall is the cod-operatic Barcelona with Montserrat Caballe, which the Beeb later used as their theme tune for the 1992 Olympics.

    2. I definitely think the Hairston song is better than Arrington, it's just little known and without nostalgia value to most people. An even comparison might be the smoother Break My Stride, which I also think is much better than Feel So Real.

      Covers are interesting in reworking things in a different style for another time. The problem I have is when people don't change anything at all.

    3. Whatever is thought of Freddie mercury, whether positive or negative, he did pull out some lavish pop videos, more so as a solo artist than with Queen, which may explain his decision to go solo, as he could then have 100% freedom on what to produce in the videos without having to consult with the likes of Roger Taylor and Brian May.

      This new video was an example of Freddie at his absolute singing and acting best, and the girls in it were very tasty I thought. Pity that the song peaked this week at No.11, as Angelo correctly mentions, cos it deserved at least Top 5 status considering the £100,000 spend on the video, as we were informed in the previous shows on the Breakers section.

  3. Janice & John play up to that tag this week in both their introductions and farewells, prefiguring Wogan's later parodies of the same on the radio. They once again provoke each other to giggle during the chart rundown, but thankfully the flirting is toned down a bit this time - maybe Janice's horrible dress put Peel off a bit...

    Paul, Mick and Dee C return with one of their liveliest numbers, which works very well as long as you ignore the right-on lyrics. The Modfather looked a bit stupid here though with his floppy hairstyle, and Dee C was giving off a dowdy image in her cardigan - perhaps she was trying to show solidarity with the workers? Freddie resumes his intermittent solo career, with an anthem-by-numbers which sees him operating entirely within his musical comfort zone. The video is far more memorable than the song, not least thanks to Freddie's attempts to convince us that he's a ladies' man - I am guessing that was intended ironically! I had to laugh at Peel's comment at the end that the video was a homage to totalitarianism, thanks to all those goose-stepping lovelies choreographed Busby Berkeley-style.

    An extraordinary performance from Steve Arrington next, dressed up like a Roman emperor in material that looks not dissimilar to that used in Janice's dress. He certainly gives this his all, but while I still like the song, it does run out of steam a bit towards the end. I am amazed Cry only got to 19, as I remember the video being everywhere at the time, and it remains an extraordinary piece of work. Maybe people got put off by some of the scary faces on display - Kevin looks particularly eerie here! The promo has perhaps rather overshadowed the song, which conveys the emotion of the lyric perfectly, and I agree with Wilberforce that this is one of the best of the year. I had no idea it was a Trevor Horn production.

    Curtis Hairston makes it to the studio, looking slick and shiny with his matching brooch and belt buckle. Otherwise this is a fairly unremarkable performance, not helped by the song being anonymous dance fare. However, his name does make me smile, which is why I rather like it! All the breakers will feature at greater length on the next show, but I noticed that Rick Parfitt, presumably at a loose end with Quo temporarily in abeyance at the time, was a rather incongruous presence on the Jimmy Nail video. Another enjoyable performance from Bronski/Almond, presumably featuring Jimmy's final appearance as Bronski frontman. The Untouchables provide another upbeat conclusion with an old-school soul sound, but I really do wish they would show us more of the audience and less of the annoying cheerleaders during the playout.

    1. john in more recent years trevor horn and lol creme got together with a bunch of other record producers and went out on tour as a band. and the band name was... the producers!

    2. also john: if you watch the "cry" video right through to the end, i think you'll find the last face is that of mr horn

    3. ...and look at the picture sleeve for the single and he's on the front.

    4. Trevor Horn is the penultimate face I think, the last being one of the others shedding a real tear.

      Not the first time he'd had a cameo in a video for a song he'd produced as of course he also turned up for 'The Look Of Love'.

    5. ha ha noax - as usual i should have checked to make sure, rather than rely on a 30 year-plus memory!

    6. The one at the start and end of the Cry video diminishes it somewhat as he looks too over the top and ridiculous to me.

    7. Just checked the end of the video and yes, Trevor is definitely the penultimate face.

  4. Freddie - feels like a showcase for his big vocal style and it actually does a decent job of it for me.

    Feel so Real - Doesn't do that much for me, Break My Stride (for example) was much catchier. I'd put Hairston above it too, it builds up to the chorus better and has a deeper groove.

    Kim Wilde, rock n roll, adds some variety.

    Two variations on I Feel Love with Divine now?...mixing it with the Four Seasons, this is definitely novelty but as it goes on I suppose it's fun enough if in the mood.

    Free Yourself a bit dull for me.

    Jimmy Nail - arrangement is ok, his vocal doesn't convince me.

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  6. The dream team return and they’re on top form again making the host links really enjoyable even if some of the music isn’t particularly. Several FF’s for me on this one.

    Style Council – Walls come tumbling down – One the best from the SC but I am surprised the Beeb broadcast this with the word ‘crap’ in the first line. I would have expected an alternate ‘clean’ version like Eddie and the Hot Rods did for ‘Teenage Depression’.

    Freddie Mercury – I was born to love you – From the patchy ‘Mr Bad Guy’ album this was a tour de force first single that sees Freddie warming up for Live Aid. Bombastic and over the top but I love it!

    Steve Arrington – Feel so real – Urgh FF! I remember being at a Club or somewhere and the 12” of this came on and it just repeated the title over and over again zzzz

    Godley and Crème – Cry – Superb video and song. Did I recognise the boxer from the ‘Rocky’ films in this facial montage?

    Curtis Hairston – I want your lovin’ – Who? FF

    Breakers – Great start from Bryan Ferry with the first of a sequence of good solo singles. Nope, not heard the Kim Wilde song before. Divine was just dreadful. Finally Jimmy Nail teamed up with Roger Taylor from Queen on this excellent cover of a song I hated on original release by Rose Royce.

    Bronski Beat / Marc Almond – I feel love – FF

    Paul Hardcastle – 19 – FF. Given this was all about US involvement in Viet Nam, what on earth made it take off so much over here when over the pond all it could manage was no15? A real radio turner off for me at the time. Hopefully we’ll get past the other four weeks of this at the top quickly and then, who knows if we’ll see the next no1.

    The Untouchables – Free yourself – Nondescript.

    1. i don't ever remember being a radio turner-offer myself, but you have reminded of a time in the mid-90's when i visited a chum at his house - he was a big fan of britpop and was playing one such compilation CD given away with (i think) Q magazine in the background whilst we chatted. then suddenly without warning he leapt off his chair as if it was on fire and practically ran across the room to do something to the CD player. after he sat down again i asked him what the problem was, and he replied "i had to fast-forward that fucking robbie williams!"

    2. There was a bloke patterned after Mr. T from Rocky III and The A-Team in the Cry video, but as most of the faces were gathered from model agencies he must have been one of those professional lookalikes.

  7. The Style Council - For once, I can tolerate one of their songs, even if the laid on thick 'right on' nature still grates. Weller currently sticking it to the man by licensing it to an insurance company of course.

    Freddie - It's alright but not that exciting.

    Steve Arrington - He's singing live, so kudos for that. I like this one, and it's nice to see that he grabbed a pair of curtains to wear on stage.

    Curtis Hairston - This, however, is rubbish.

    Breakers - Bryan Ferry: OK, Kim Wilde: Dated drivel, Divine: Amusing but bad, Jimmy Nail: Not in any way cool to admit this, but I think it's a great cover.

    The Untouchables - A prime example of why this is not a great year for music, when dated average crap like this can easily make it into the Top 40.

    1. I don't think the charts give a full view of music, some weak stuff will do well and some good things won't even make the top 40 or even anywhere near it sometimes.

    2. so the modfather licenced one of his precious political rants for use in an advert for insurance? what a hyprocrite - he'll be reforming the jam next!

      say what you like about sting (who obviously never had the right-on-ness of weller, despite his own posturing politico efforts at trying to save the rain forest), but at least when some deodorant company tried to use "don't stand so close to me" for an ad he blocked it as he felt it debased the original sentiment of the song

    3. Starry, I totally agree with you. Sometimes a glimpse at what is outside the 40 can be fruitful as some gems don’t penetrate it. However lurking at no44 this week, and amazingly bound for no14 we have ‘Here we go’ by Everton 1985 – can’ wait for that! Things improve though…

      We have at no59 the no-too-bad ‘Imagination’ by Belouis Some which peaked at no50 during an 11 week chart run. Saw him at Knebworth 1986 supporting Queen.

      At no62 Francis Rossi and Bernie Frost with ‘Modern Romance’ which sounds rather like Status Quo and reached the dizzy heights of no54.

      At no64 David Cassidy’s follow up to ‘The last Kiss’ called ‘Romance’ peaking at no54 which featured a racy pic disc with Sam Fox

      George Benson recorded a nice cover of the classic ‘Beyond the Sea’ (as song I have always had a soft spot for) and this sat at no76 having only managed no60 – travesty.

      At no78 one of my favourite groups T Rex had ‘Megarex’ which bobbed around in the 70s getting no higher than no72 but I don’t recall ever hearing it.

      At no86 featuring a video with Leonard Nimoy was the Bangles with ‘Going down to Liverpool’ which managed to peak at n079 as well as name checking ‘UB40’.

      The final one I have picked out is at no97 and it’s a reissue of Kenny Rogers’ ‘The Gambler’ which reached the summit of no81.

      I’ve watched these through on YT and do you know what, I think I enjoyed these more than the actual ToTP show, with George Benson’s ‘Beyond the Sea’ being the highlight.

    4. i thought the somewhat bowie-influenced "imagination" by belouis some (what kind of name is that? still, anything is better than neville keighley i suppose) was actually a big hit in 1985. if not, then (without checking) i assume it must have been re-released the following year with much more success?

    5. regarding the t rex megamix: that reminds me of the time back in the 80's when i was listening to a "bits and pieces"-style competition on the radio with a compilation/mix of t rex hits. and i couldn't help but agree with someone's comment on the show afterwards that "it all sounded just like one song"! and to to add insult to injury, they followed it up with a bowie one that really showed marc bolan up for the comparitively lightweight talent that he was!!

    6. The UB40 mention in the Bangles record wasn't a namecheck of the band, it was referring to the actual unemployment form. The song was a cover of a Katrina and the Waves tune, written by one of the English members.

    7. You're right wilberforce - 'Imagination' got a re-release in January 1986 and enjoyed another 10 week chart run peaking at no17.

    8. Was Imagination the one with the rude video? How will they show it in the Breakers?!

    9. Good Lord, The Bangles were already in the outer reaches of the British charts in 1985? No-one had heard of them here until 1986 with Walk Like An Egyptian which did well for them in their 'debut' on our screens, and so this find by you sct353, i.e., Going Down To Liverpool, I had never heard of till years later when I bought their greatest hits on VHS, which is when I first saw the video of it with Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy taking a joint lead role with the girls as their taxi driver unimpressed by their silly antics in the back of the taxi:

    10. As I've mentioned before, Going Down to Liverpool should have been a much bigger hit for The Bangles than it was - it managed to get to 56 when rereleased in 1986. Manic Monday was their first big hit, not Walk Like an Egyptian.

      Wilberforce - have to agree about Bolan. Most of his major hits just sound to me like variations on Ride a White Swan, to ever-diminishing effect.

    11. Correct John, but still it was only in 1986 that The Bangles broke through in the UK with Manic monday, so well done to sct353 for spotting this lesser known track called Going Down To Liverpool in the lower reaches of the May 1985 chart.

      It was a bit like an unknown Prince reaching No.41 in our 1980 chart with I Wanna Be Your Lover, but took a further 4 years until 1984 to break through in Britain with When Doves Cry, as the hit 1999 only got to No.25 in January 1983, and was not shown on TOTP at all, and so Prince had to wait over a year more for his final breakthrough and a showing on TOTP!


    12. Hi everyone, been lurking here for years, often intending to reply to comments with info that hasn't been mentioned, but never quite getting around to it. But here I am at last.

      sct353's comments have drawn me in. I remember all of those non-hits too. I bought the George Benson single at the time, along with the T.Rex hit mix. The Sweet also had a similar mix out at this time called It's It's The Sweet Mix, and followed it a few months later with the Teen Action mix. I saw the Bangles video on 'Whistle Test' at the time, and another of their early singles 'hero Takes A Fall' was also aired on 'Whistle Test'. Another memory of mine from the time is of Richard Skinner doing the new chart rundown on Whistle Test and declaring that the most exciting thing about REO Speedwagon is their name.

      I remember seeing pretty much the whole of the Divine video on Max Headroom. Another video I remember from that time is of the Supertramp single 'Cannonball. I still have my VHS compilations of music videos from TOTP, Whistle Test, Max Headroom and The Tube from that era.

      I too was at Knebworth in '86. Belouis Some was bottled by the audience in much the same way that the Teardrop Explodes were at Leeds in '82.

      'Barcelona' wasn't just used as the BBC theme to the '92 Olympics, it was recorded especially for the '92 Barcelona Olympics way back in 1987, and was performed live that year in Ibiza and again the following year at a festival when the Olympic flag was taken to Barcelona.

      Trevor Horn on the Drama tour with Yes was the first gig I ever attended. It was at Deeside Leisure Centre in 1980, the same night that it was revealed who shot JR. Trevor came on stage and told the audience that it was Krystin.

      Yes, '19' did get very annoying after a while, but I still think that it's the last 'original' song I ever heard. Music has two eras for me, before Live Aid and after Live Aid.

      Anyway, I'll try not to leave it so long before posting again.

    13. Correction on the 2nd Sweet mix. I've just remembered that 'The Teen Action' mix was the B side. The A Side was actually 'The Wig Wam Willy Mix'.

    14. I'm not that familiar with that George Benson one, but soon after I did get his Love Songs album and loved it. That was prompted by enjoying his scintillating recording 20/20, which had such sparkling energy to it, it's a shame it never got more than a snippet on totp.

      Further down the charts I see Radio Africa by The Latin Quarter and Put My Arms Around You by Kevin Kitchen (one I definitely heard on the radio at the time).

      Cherish by Kool and the Gang I like, but I guess that will soon enter the top 40 at least.

      I'm not a huge T-Rex fan, though I notice The Power Station doing a cover of them too.

    15. I have a soft spot for T-Rex because Metal Guru was at number one when I was born, and I think that's a storming record.

    16. Welcome, Nigel. Feel free to join in with your comments whenever you fancy it!

    17. Welcome from me too Nigel. I am glad that my foray into the nether regions of the charts has sparked so much interest! 'Metal Guru' was one of the first singles I ever bought....whilst on holiday in Summer 1972 at a Record Store in Cliftonville.

  8. "And dangle jobs like a donkey's car-ROT!" Yeah, what a great lyricist. But this was probably the closest The Style Council got to The Jam, and it has a lot of energy to it, so much so that it's quite an exciting way to start the show.

    Freddie next, with a song that sounds like the theme tune to a gameshow, but for all that it is amusingly camp in its troth-plighting. The video goes a bit Duncan Chase Me Norvelle, except it's Fred doing the chasing. And a woman as the object of his desire. OK, nothing like Duncan, then.

    Fresh in from Galilee, Steve 'Arrington and a creditable live performance of a perfectly fair dance ditty. Like Freddie, he eschews shoes for some reason.

    Godley & Crème, showing off their mastery of the video arts with a curiously sinister, accusatory song that make you protest, wait, I haven't done anything! If this had been made with CGI (as in Michael Jackson's Black or White video which ripped this off) it wouldn't have been half as effective.

    Fitting to his name Curtis Hairston has a very neat and tidy barnet, but the tune is the kind of thing where they would say "It sounds great in a club!"

    Then the Breakers, including Divine that seems to have been shot on the set of his movie Lust in the Dust, only the song is nowhere to be heard on the soundtrack. Maybe they wanted extra publicity?

    The Bronskis and Marc, more upbeat this time, though Jimmy doesn't half perspire. Marc has adopted Dickie Davies' hairdo for some reason.

    Then the song that had us all discussing American foreign policy of the 1970s at school break, 19 takes up residency at the top of the charts. Oddly, I remember being told at the local youth club disco someone put this on and nobody got up to dance to it, because they didn't know how! Which makes my peers sound like a real bunch of squares, it's so obviously a dance record.

    The Untouchables to end, vaguely recall this, it's OK but I wouldn't have sought it out otherwise.

    1. the modfather has previous form when to comes to poor scanning of lyics with the emphasis on the wrong syllable or part of a phrase ("speak like A child")

    2. in the wake of frankie and bronski beat (plus i think at this point marc almond as well), freddie mercury now had the perfect opportunity to come out of the closet without worrying about the likelihood of his career (both solo and with queen) going tits up as a result. presumably he had his reasons, but despite the change of attitudes it took him until his deathbed to admit what most pretty much knew or at least suspected already (despite boy-meets-girl songs like "i was born to love you"). it's a shame that bama boogiewoogie seems to have disappeared, as it would be interesting to read his views on this subject...

    3. You'd have thought people would have twigged about Freddie after the Break Free video! But there are plenty of stories of fans being utterly oblivious at the time.

    4. The Divine clip was more like a scene out of Carry On Cowboy with Sid James and Joan Sims, with Divine here looking like a ragged Joan Sims or Hattie Jaques on a bad day. I didn't know Divine did a film called Lust In The Dust. What could the storyline have been?

    5. Lust in the Dust was a comedy western, with everyone in it looking for a map to some treasure. I won't tell you where the map was. It wasn't very good, but has a one of a kind cast.

    6. the "leading man" in the divine film was tab hunter, who in his younger days was a closeted gay hollywood heart-throb (a la rock hudson) and also had a brief pop career (although his singing was somewhat susepct to put it mildly). he hadn't actually officially come out at the point he appeared in "lust in the dust", but just being in it was pretty much tountamount to doing so!

    7. Tab had already starred with Divine in John Waters' Polyester in 1980 (the one with the scratch and sniff cards for the audience). They share a kiss in it, which must have been a strong indication of Tab's love leanings.

    8. If you get the US DVD of Polyester, incidentally, the s&s card section of pizza is really nice. The poo one, er, not so much.

  9. Anyone here see the epic tribute to Whistle Test last Friday? It wasn't bad at all, with contributions from all the presenters (even the first one, Richard Williams), though Whispering Bob was the main presenter on the night. Some good tunes from the oldies, a couple of well-chosen new artists, intelligent interviews (Bob is good at this), and it wasn't all early 70s, which was fine by me because I only started watching it in its last couple of years.

    Anyway, one reason I mention it was in the section about the segments where they played music over film and cartoon clips when the artist wasn't in the studio, they played our old pal Bama's Under Pressure video! Well, a bit of it anyway. Someone let him know!

    1. Well if Bama BoogieWoogie does surface again, he has a lot of shows to catch up on. In this month of February alone, Angelo has put up no less than 13 episodes of TOTP, and I think Bama left at the end of the 1984 episodes, which means having to catch up on 4-5 months of TOTP episodes. Good Lord.

    2. I think Bama did say he would probably stop commenting on the shows after 1984. I hope he does drop in again though - I miss his acute observations and anecdotes.

      I did see the Whistle Test tribute, and thought it was pretty good. Some nice live performances too, and I was quite impressed by Wildwood Kin, one of the new acts featured. I was puzzled as to why Annie Nightingale only appeared as a disembodied voice, but subsequently discovered from her Twitter feed that the Beeb had turned down her request to co-host the show, a decision she is clearly not happy about. Although marketed as strictly a one-off, I wonder if BBC4 are testing the water to see if a revival might be possible? I think Bob was right to say in a newspaper interview the other day that there could well be a place on TV these days for a magazine-style show which tries to knit the disparate strands of the contemporary music scene together. Failing that, TOTP-style reruns of the old episodes would be nice - most of them are still in the archives...

    3. About 10 years ago or so, I bought the BBC's 2-disc DVD called "The Old Grey Whistle Test - Over 40 Rarely Seen Classic Performances." There are some excellent gems on there, like Meat Loaf making his UK TV debut in 1978 with Paradise By The Dashboard Light, and the oh-so in love married couple Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge singing Help Me Make It Through The Night, and of course the brilliant Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Highly recommended DVD to watch in your spare time folks.

    4. I've recorded the Whistle Test special to watch later - sounds like it was a good show.

      I think the magazine show John refers to above would work well on BBC4 on a Friday night, maybe straight after the early showing of TOTP. Bob would actually be a good choice of host, given that he played a good choice of new stuff on his old Radio 2 show and is very passionate about all sorts of musical genres.

      I once made a gaffe with Help Me Make It Through The Night when I'd just started on hospital radio and a patient had asked for something by Jim Croce. His version of that song was the only track by him that came up on the record library database. Fortunately the patient saw the funny side...

    5. if they let annie nightingale in front of the cameras for a late-night showing of OGWT now, some might think they've tuned into an old hammer horror film!

    6. Annie looks like a little old lady now, which she is. But she was happy to appear on Pointless a few months ago. The voice is still fine.

    7. Steve, I remember another hospital radio moment when the patient's family willingly requested "When I'm Dead And Gone" by McGuinness Flint!

    8. Certain records were banned when I first started like I Just Died In Your Arms. But we did get requests for Catatonia's Dead From The Waist Down when it was in the charts!

    9. As you're probably aware, the "Die" in Cutting Crew's song title was the Shakespearean version meaning to, erm, ejaculate - but I fully understand and take your point.

    10. I did Arthur, unfortunately the bosses at the time banned anything with death in the title. I took the view that the listeners wouldn't be lying outraged in their beds because the hospital station had played a song that mentioned death.

  10. Terry Wogan’s risqué and usually laugh-out-loud stories were about Janet and John, not Janice and John.

    It’s Paul “I’ll sing “Crap” if I want to” Weller, patting his guitar strings instead of miming playing them, and Dee C Lee looking as dowdy as you could make her – I wonder if she refused to be in the mugshot for that reason?

    100 grand thrust towards the pink pound market with Freddie’s video, despite his ‘trying to put us off the scent’ kissing a woman. The song’s beat reminded me of “Holding Out For A Hero”.

    Nice flipflops, Mister Arrington. Now, unless you’re going to do a pantomime style lift off the ground using those yellow shoulder hooks, take them off and give Janet - er, Janice her dress back.

    Clever tear effect at the start of Godley and Creme (but one trail per eye would have been better) and marks given for the chap actually crying at the start. I remember hating the last three high pitched synthesised notes of this song which we didn’t hear, though.

    Not as much hair on Curtis Hairston as his surname might have suggested but, bless, he was really happy to be there. A tune for the dancefloor and not for the Dansette at home, methinks.

    And Janice crosses another “Carry On” style line for John to volley home.

    Had Kim Wilde joined The Stray Cats? Sounded like it.

    Surely Divine was another of those great American voices, John?

    Jimmy Nail was a surprisingly good singer, and this version of Rose Royce’s slowie was different enough from the original to make its own mark.

    The morph from busy highway to forest avenue in U2’s video was very impressive. Certianly more impressive than Bono’s bellowing.
    Marc and the Bronskis manage to kill three songs in one go there.

    N-n-n-n-nyet! I can’t stand “19”. Can we have Phyllis back? And at least give her a namecheck and a video clip!

    And we finish with The Untouchables’ attempt at 2-Tone disco. Okay in itself but probably four years too late.

    1. I should just clarify that I do know it is Janet and John really - our hosts had evidently made the connection!

  11. Shame I didn't find this out a few weeks ago at it would have been far more relevant. It's funny what you find scouring the web. I was pawing through 45cat and found a punk band called Anorexia, whose second single featured Julie Hadwin on vocals. Julie changed the spelling of her surname to Hadwen and was recently seen on this re-run as singer with Big Sound Authority!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. ...or was it Julie Hawden?!

      Seriously, Julie herself can be seen commenting on the ToTP showing of 'This House' here:-

    3. And how does Julie spell her surname in all that YouTube correspondence? :-D It appears the regular 7 inch sleeve of "This House..." spelt her surname coreectly and the doublepack you linked to didn't. I'm just glad Julie joined Anorexia after their first single, whose lead track was "Rapist In The Park"!

  12. Weller & co open the show with probably their second-best offering (after Long Hot Summer). Not sure why Weller decided to slap his guitar rather than play normally. If it was to appear cool - he failed. Miserably. Unlike others I happen to like Dee C Lee's look here - sort of Council Estate Casual. Suits her.

    Freddie. By 85 I had seriously lost all interest in Queen. (Even Live Aid failed to ignite it. As for the solo offerings from the various members- nope, they do nothing for me either.

    Godley &Creme. I think this might have won an award for video production - and quite rightly. Far ahead of its time, and another example of how original, innovative and talented the two were in all aspects of the arts.(Think the multi-layered vocals on I'm Not In Love and their invention of The Gizmo). Good song too.

    The only breaker to pique my interest was Jimmy Nail, who turned out to have a decent voice for an actor. This isn't a bad cover, but there was much better to come.

    Scores. Mmm, let me see. Style council and Godley/Creme were good, 19 was too, and Feel So Real was fairly decent. But Jimmy Nail aside, the rest was mediocreat best. So - oh go on then I'll give it a generous 6.

    Janice & John continue to lay waste to all the other presenting duos; confident, camera-friendly, witty and with proper knowledge of music, they really are the Man City of ToTP DJs. 8.

  13. I suddenly thought, regarding Godley and Creme, seeing as Kevin Godley takes all the lead vocals on the singles,that makes Lol Creme the Andrew Ridgeley / John Oates to Kevin's Daryl Hall / George Michael.

    1. Arthur - a bit of reversal from 10cc's early singles, which up to and including Life Is A Minestrone nearly all featured Creme lead vocals (and he also briefly sings lead on Arts For Arts Sake).

      The only Godley & Creme single I can think of with Creme singing on it is An Englishman In New York and even then it's only a few lines.

  14. Last to the party again - catch up day today then, 3 in a row - here we go!

    Yippee.. Auntie Janice and Uncle John get us underway with The Style Council.
    A great uplifting tune. Weller really has the midus touch for quite a while in 70s/80s/90s didn't he. Style Council is probably the period I am least familiar with but liking all the songs I'm hearing.

    Is Janice in a paper dress???

    Freddie - I do remember this from the time but not a huge fan back then. It's a decent enough song I suppose. Still not sure how this video cost so much although I can imagine it got a fair bit of MTV airplay.

    Steve Arrington - a previous breaker makes it to the studio. Didn't know the name but know the song. Was there a lot of spare blue fabric in the costume department this week?
    He's gone the full Sandie Shaw as well.

    G+C with the video we've heard a lot about. Also helps this is a fantastic song. Only number 19. Very surprised.

    More disco/R+B from Curtis Hairston. Another name I hadn't heard of and this time I didn't know the song. Nothing amazing but not it's a decent enough tune.

    Charts - FIVE STAR have arrived! I was a fan.

    Breakers next up:
    Bryan Ferry: A radio staple during the 80s. Nice song. Poor video.
    Kim Wilde: Not familiar with one and she jumps on the concert video bandwagon. Next.
    Divine: Oh dear..
    Jimmy Nail: and here he is.. Ain't know doubt his TV career helped him get all these hits and buy his Crocodile Shoes. An acquired taste...

    Peel not a fan of Bronski murdering I feel love and I have to agree. I think this gets worse every time I hear it..

    19 makes it number one and quite right too - iconic not too strong a word.

    The Untouchables - another new one to me.
    very retro

    Good show even if no really strong faves apart from Paul Hardcastle...onwards....