Thursday, 8 February 2018

This Ole Devil Called Top of the Pops

This edition of Top of the Pops from 14th March 1985 will not be shown on BBC4 due to Mike Smith, so a huge thanks goes to Neil B for making it available here at We Transfer

Go Vest

14/03/85 (Gary Davies & Mike Smith)

Go West – “We Close Our Eyes” (16)
Peaked at number 5.

Philip Bailey & Phil Collins – “Easy Lover” (2) (video)
Next week's number one.

Alison Moyet – “That Ole Devil Called Love” (11)
Her biggest hit peaking at number 2.

New Edition – “Mr Telephone Man” (26) (breaker)
Peaked at number 19.

Sheila E – “The Belle Of St Mark” (24) (breaker – US TV clip)
Her only hit, reaching number 18.

Nik Kershaw – “Wide Boy” (15) (breaker)
Peaked at number 9.

Paul Young – “Everytime You Go Away” (9)
Peaked at number 4.

Dead Or Alive – “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” (1)
Final week at number one.

Stephen Tin Tin Duffy – “Kiss Me” (4) (audience dancing/credits)
At its peak.

Next up 21st March 1985, which won't be shown on BBC4 because they have lost it.


  1. But has anyone else got it?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Bailey & Collins - wow, this shot up from No.20 to No.2, and got a good 4:15 play of the video even before reaching No.1.

    Sheila E - now that's more like it, even if only on the Breakers section. Highlight of the show for me, and what a hottie, and check out that outfit! Outfit of the year so far, brilliant! Never mind about the song title, but it's all about Sheila E this week.

    Paul Young - he does love that no.9 spot doesn't he? Anyway, I remember one day while this was in the charts, that Steve Wright on his Radio 1 afternoon slot said the line goes, "Every time you go away, you take a piece of MEAT with you...." typical Steve Wright In The Afternoon.

    1. sheila e (who was actually the offspring of santana percussionist pete escovedo for anyone intersted) may well have been a "hottie" in some people's eyes, but this prince cast-off was not very interesting musically, and thus probably explains its modest chart placing. despite that, miss e (who was more than just a pretty face, having already made a reputation herself as a session percussionist of note prior to releasing records as a solo act) of course went on to further enjoy the patronage of his purpleness by joining his touring band

  4. go west: i first heard this via the official video shown on "the tube", where i think much was made of the powerfully-voiced singer peter cox wearing only an oily vest (he also had some kind of mechanic's tool, although what that had to do with the song i had no idea). anyway if it's the right clip i'm watching on yt then said vest is underneath a leather biker's jacket here. and partner richard drummie is similarly dressed, which can't make me help think of them looking like a cut-price version of early wham. this is one of those tracks i loved at the time, then went off afterwards due to it containing all the musical cliches of the era. and then in much more recent times (probably due to my ever-more stronger thirst for nostalgia and "the good old days") i really started to like listening to again. a shame though that all their other hits just sounded like poor-man's versions of this

    collins/bailey: unlike the above, i wasn't that keen on this at the time. and i heard it by chance the other day, where i realised i probably like it even less now. i'm not sure why the golden-voiced philip bailey (who may still have been involved with the brilliant earth, wind & fire at this point) was involved to be honest, as it sounds just like another tedious phil collins effort to me

    alison moyet: now firmly no longer "alf", i am guessing that she had was no stranger to singing jazz standards before finding synth-pop success with yazoo? i myself had discovered the magic of the golden age of tin pan alley via a frank sinatra greatest hits cassette owned by a friend a few years earlier (we used to drive around in his car warbling along to stuff like "i've got you under my skin"), but my knowledge of that era was still pretty thin at the time so i was not familar with this particular tune. it's a decent enough rendition of it, but it never really stuck in my mind at the time. and having discovered so much more since then, in my view there are far stronger songs of that ilk to enjoy listening (and singing along) to

    paul young: another change to the royal family line-up as the previous guitarist is replaced by ex-blockhead john turnbull (who is much better-looking than his predessor, although i'm sure that wasn't the reason for his recruitment as he had a musical pedigree stretching back to the 60's). and there's another keyboard player present, although i can't see why - other than highlighting how uncool ian kewley was! in the murky recesses of my mind i had a recollection this was a cover, but couldn't remember who did the original. it turns out to be hall & oates who are of course also in the charts at this point, although i've still to hear their version. this has a less fussy and more relaxed production than young's earlier hits, and thus benefits accordingly (although pino palladino's distinctive slippery bass is perhaps even prominent than ever). yet despite that, ironically given the title paul was to see his fans go away not long after this

    1. I was prepared to agree with you on That Old Devil, but actually she brings it off quite well.

      There are more demanding melodies to sing from the past, Rodgers/Hart are among my favourites from then, but there's lots of stuff. But the simple tune Moyet picks works well in a 50s style pop-jazz vocal style. She keeps to her pop style rather than going into a more subtle personal style like Sade might and I think it suits her. It is rather random that it's her highest solo chart position though.

  5. Smitty was popular in 1985. You couldn’t get away from him… The hosts however, cannot match the charisma of the previous week’s hosts.

    Go West – We close our eyes – “Go West in the open air….”. This is OK I suppose, just not a particular favourite of mine and it’s been played to death.

    Phil Collins & Phil Bailey – Easy Lover – Speaking of played to death…. However this one hasn’t aged one bit and I love the mix of live vocals and dialogue on this video. Daryl Stuermer plays the distinctive guitar solo but he’s not featured on the video. I’ve not heard anything else from the ‘Chinese Wall’ album so this must be the best track and it’s the only duet and co-written with Collins track.

    Alison Moyet – That ole Devil called love – Never a fan of this song….did nothing for me.

    Breakers – Don’t recall the first two and memories of ‘Candy Girl’ had me reaching FF for New Edition whilst the Sheila E song looks OK. ‘Snooker Loopy’ follows next, but surely this is Nik Kershaw’s forgotten hit?

    Paul Young – Every time you go away – “…you take a piece of meat with you”. Written by Daryl Hall as Gary notes, this is still a massively played ‘Magic FM’ song (there’s several on this show tonight). Still sounds great mind you. I bought the 12” with the aircraft sound on the extended intro. Just a timeless record with Pino Palladino on bass much in evidence; nice to see him here again.

    Chartrundown – ‘Starvation’ by Starvation, forgotten that one. Another one to add to the list of bands writing songs named after themselves. Living in a box coming up in 1987. No more King and Ashford and Simpson in the top10 rundown. Safe prediction for next week’s no1 from Gary.

    Dead or Alive – You spin me round – Is that another new studio appearance? A ‘record’?!

    Tin Tin – Kiss me playout - No thanks FF.

    1. the starvation single is a new one to me in terms of eponymously-named chart releases (which is a great theme for quizzes of course, and something i have challenged mates to do from time to time). i managed to dig the official video out of youtube (it's quite hard to find unless you put in certain keywords) to discover it's basically UB40 with a few of their mates (including the ubiquitous dick cuthell on trumpet), and what was probably one of their tunes re-tooled for the charidee band wagon - sorry, band aid. although the video pontificates by informing viewers how that grain storage could be used to feed starving ethiopians instead, the shots of norman hassan playing the triangle and astro with his yellow and striped barnet (was he a wolves fan?) are quite amusing:

    2. yesterday i actually gave the tin tin track a listen on yt, rather than just relying on a 30-year memory of it. and to be fair, the backing track actually isn't that bad as synth-pop goes. however the weedy melody and even-weedier way he sings still makes it highly annoying!

    3. philip bailey did actually follow-up "easy lover" with the title track of his album as a single (without phil collins singing this time, although he was bashing away on drums). but given how bland and forgettable it was (far more in phil collins territory than ew&f, even though collins didn't actually write it), not surprisingly it wasn't very successful despite some radio airplay to my recollection

    4. Phil Collins produced the album, which perhaps helps to explain the sound?

    5. yes john, i noticed that in the credits for it after i submitted the above post. the only reason i can think of this disparate pair getting together is because they were both called philip?

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. It was probably because of EWF Horns playing on Phil's solo stuff and a couple of Genesis tracks ('No Reply at all' and 'Paperlate'). On Phil's 'Seriously Hits Live' album Phil shares vocals with one of his backing singers.

  6. Go West, kind of like the British version of what Roxette would be, in that they had all the right rawk and party sounds, the slick production, the bang up to date image, yet were utterly unexciting. Just sounds by the numbers to me, as ever - their best record was The King is Dead, where they ditched their usual stuff for something more moody.

    Skipped Phil & Phil because we'll be seeing enough of them soon, and onto Allison Moyet doing a very creditable rendition of one of those Great American Songbook ditties Michael Parkinson drones on about all the time. Very well sung, production is professional and faithful, but you can't imagine many nightclubs putting this on.

    Breakers, New Edition still squeaking away, Sheila E with the fantastic Belle of St Mark, one of the tunes that should have been a lot bigger this year, and Nik Kershaw with the great Wide Boy video, which I thought was really funny at the time.

    Paul Young, seems everyone thinks of a piece of meat hearing this now, but it's nice enough I suppose, just never takes off, sort of glides along. Top marks to the guitarist sounding like a sitar, a neat trick.

    Dead or Alive enjoying their last week of any chart note (though massive in Japan, they said), then Steve to end on, with somebody's auntie jiving in the crowd, I note.

    1. i think the last time an electric sitar (or something similar) was used on a hit single was on do it again" by steely dan, that scraped into the top 40 ten years earlier

  7. That picture of Go West’s Pete Cox reminded me of reality pop show “Reborn in the USA”, a one-off series in the early 2000’s where a load of British hitsters toured American theatres singing songs relating to the location of that week’s show (e.g. Motown numbers in Detroit) with one act voted off each week until we were left with two finalists. Pete Cox took part and was doing really well until he forgot the words of the Norah Jones song he was given and, in a fit of embarrassed laughter, asked mid-song if anyone in the audience knew the words. Needless to say, he got voted off. The winner was a less than gracious Tony “Three Notes” Hadley.

    1. yes i watched some of that series, when "reality tv" was still a quite new concept and thus worth a watch. to my recollection the singer from one hit wonders and now-forgotten late 80's act then jericho was the first casualty (as a result of not taking the thing at all seriously as i recall), shortly followed by dollar. another who did quite well (not surprisingly given he is actually a fine singer) was leee of imagination. with regard to peter cox forgetting the words to a norah jones song, i bet the audience were not much help in that respect as she's just another 21st century product of hype whose material is here today and forgotten tomorrow

      talking of music reality shows: i discovered by chance that a female singer i was once worked with many years ago became a breakout star of "the voice" last year, impressing the judges (particularly old goat minces aka tom jones) with her rendition of "the long and lonely road". and even appearing on tv chat shows as a result. but then in the next round she had to do a "sing off" in a duet against a male duo, and it was plain from watching the footage on yt that she had no choice in the matter (as did mr cox with the norah jones song), so was quite uncomfortable with the situation and performed dismally as a result. and thus inevitably got voted off!

    2. I tend to refer to her as Snorah Jones, myself...

  8. Thanks to Neil B for this one (and, I would imagine, the other two uploads this week as well). Smitty and Gazza make for a solid if unremarkable partnership here, Smitty managing to restrain his more irritating tendencies for the most part. However, I thought Paul Young's keyboardist bore no more than a very passing resemblance to Keith Harris, if that...

    Go West start us off, thankfully in the studio rather than on that annoying video. A typical slick production of the period, but as with a number of this song's contemporaries there is precious little substance beneath the style, and I have always found this quite boring. Interesting that the duo themselves both wear chunky leather jackets, while the backing band are all in smart suits, a not dissimilar situation to some of the Wham performances we have seen recently. A similarly bland offering next from the two Phils, soaring towards number 1 with their irritatingly smug video - who thought it was a good idea to have so much talking and "live" singing overlaying the actual record? Mind you, it was interesting to get that brief glimpse from the helicopter of the soot-grimed Palace of Westminster, not long before the big cleaning programme started.

    Thankfully Alf then arrives with a much more engaging song, a lovely rendition of an old standard that shows off her vocal ability to perfection. Hard to tell if she is still pregnant or not at this stage, though the lighting makes her look as if she has clumsy red streaks in her hair. On to the breakers, and this is all we will see of New Edition and Sheila E, which is fine by me as I thought both songs were quite forgettable. Nik Kershaw's video was amusing - presumably that was him disguised as the moustachioed teddy boy?

    Paul Young still has his soulful backing singers in tow as he returns to his habitual number 9 slot with this ode to visiting the butcher. A pleasant song, well produced, but as with most of the tunes in this show not very exciting. At least Dead or Alive inject some life into proceedings with yet another studio performance - they must have been camping out in the car park at this point! The camera roves all over the studio as the crowd dance to Mr Duffy, alighting on what appears to be a very young girl right at the end.

    1. "Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you......."

    2. at least two people here have already mentioned the misheard "meat" lyric

    3. I make it four Wilberforce;
      Dory, sct353, THX, John G, hence I thought of having another piece of this meat this morning.

  9. Thanks once again to Neil B.

    The band Rodney got kicked out of in “Only Fools And Horses” was called A Bunch Of Wallies. I think their ‘lead singer’ was in the wonderful video for W H Smiths’ short-lived DIY arm Do It All.

    Oh dear, Mike and Gary looked like fashion victims even then, let alone now.

    Ah, you’ve changed your vest, Pete. Well done! Very precise drumming in close up but, sadly, I was taken by Pete Cox’s gentle speech problem pronouncing his R’s as in the chorus. I bet he was relieved at that line “Wednesday girl waits with the wine “. Oo, Son of Toppatron ‘pon the left hand side at the end!

    “Easy Lover”, hard on my eardrums. This leaves me cold and will get the same regular FF treatment as that other recent chart topping dynamic duo Elaine and Babs.

    Mmm, jazz – niiice! Alf, er, Alison, with a song which suits her style and vocal timbre perfectly. Nice song fact at the end there by Mike. Unexpected improvement by him there.

    “Mr Telephone Man” was a wrong number – that shite should have peaked at 98.

    Sheila E was comely, wasn’t she? Unusual diagonal left hand grip of the mic there, but “Belle of St. Mark”? Surely the bloke would be the Beau of St. Mark.

    Nik Kershaw, a top 40 breaker at number 15? Dear God! Good video, mind, with everyone joining in the lyrics and Nik hamming it up admirably as Ted Bovis.

    Has anyone mentioned yet that the lyrics to Paul Young’s song sound like he sings “You take a piece of meat with you”? Oh well, mutton grumble. Luckily he didn’t butcher this tune and brought the bacon home with a big hit. I know, I hear you –what a load of tripe!

    Good grief, an even worse and actually unwatchable segment of TInTin’s video!

    Pete, crap brown isn’t a suit colour consummate with a chart topping artiste. Still, at least Dead Or Alive never phoned it in and turned up to entertain us with this hit at each opportunity.

    1. Yes indeed Arthur, read the comments above about Paul Young. You're the fifth person to mention it.

    2. I was mucking about, Dory. My sense of humour! :-D

  10. So here we are again, Show 3 of 6 this week.

    Kicking of with the very Bryan Adams attired Go West. As I said yesterday/last week- like this tune a lot.

    The Phils' are up next and I remember this video well. I wasn't always a fan of videos where they talk over the song but I was fascinated by this one for all the behind the scenes stuff you could see.
    Was (am) a big Doctor Who fan and have always loved watching how this and other TV is put together so this video was a real favourite of mine.
    Thanks to Wilbeforce and other last week I have now learnt Phil B was from Earth, Wind and Fire which makes this a very odd combination but it works really well.

    Alison Moyet proving once again what a great voice she has even if this isn't one of my favourites of hers. Thought about going to see her last year at my local (Reading Hexagon) but they wanted £51 a ticket! Maybe for London but wasn't paying that for Reading.

    New Edition: Never a fan of the "Jackson Lite" and this is a nothing song.

    Sheila E - No idea where she is from before this song, was this a cover? I vaguely remember it and it sounds quite good, will dig out the full version.

    Nik Kershaw continues his run of great POP records. Interesting video, would like to have seen more.

    Paul Young - Another great song from him. Remember picking up his Greatest Hits cassette in the early 90s and being surprised with how many great singles he had.
    Not sure about the suit though Paul?

    Never heard of that "Starvation" song - anyone know what that was about?
    David Essex still climbing but misses out again - not even a breaker.
    King are plummeting down the charts aren't they...

    Another new performance(?) for Dead or Alive and the end of their run followed by "kiss me" which makes a great playout song.

    Gary D in his A-Team shirt makes a good combo with a restrained Smithey this week - all in all a good show.

    See you all tomorrow....

    1. Sheila E had previously been in Prince's entourage. Her single was an original from what I can make out, an ode to an androgynous chap hence the reference to him in the chorus as "Belle".

  11. Not much to cry over missing on this one, though at least Mike Smith was less annoying than usual.

    Go West I do actually like, though the vests really are off-putting.

    Phil & Phil I must have heard (and played on the radio) hundreds of times so no ta.

    Alison Moyet's song is good enough but nothing to get excited about and it's a shame that's her biggest hit rather than one of her self-penned tracks.

    Breakers: New Edition - well, it's no Meri Wilson is it? In fact it's bloody awful. Sheila E's song I know a lot of people get very excited by but its never done anything for me and wouldn't have got anywhere near the Top 40 either if people weren't buying anything Prince related at this point. Nik Kershaw's song (and video) is ace though!

    Paul Young's tune is alright, again nothing to get too excited about. Hey, did you know that the lyric sounds, I think that's been done to death now.

    Pete Burns looks about as un-Pete Burns like as it's possible to be this time. Enjoy it while it lasts! Mind you, some of their later singles were belters.