Thursday, 8 March 2018

Top of the Pops on the Cake

Janice is all dressed up pretty as a birthday cake but John has gone and stood her up in the studio on this very very live edition of Top of the Pops from 30th May 1985!

It's my Top of the Pops and I'll introduce Stephen Tin Tin Duffy if I want to!

30/05/85  (Janice Long)

Stephen Tin Tin Duffy – “Icing On The Cake” (20)
The birthday boy gets tonight's show underway and his song went up six more places.

Animotion – “Obsession” (12) (video)
On its way to number 5.

Billy Ocean – “Suddenly” (19)
Live in the studio with his own version of Lionel Richie's Hello which peaked at number 4.

Propaganda – “Duel” (36) (breaker)
Peaked at number 21.

Mai Tai – “History” (32) (breaker)
Their first of two top ten hits, this one reaching number 8.

Gary Numan – “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (27) (breaker – live clip)
Got no higher.

OMD – “So In Love” (28)
He'll never be a scout with that shirt! And this song went up just one more place.

Scritti Politti – “The Word Girl” (15)
On its way to number 6.

The Top Ten Videos:
Bryan Ferry - "Slave To Love" (10) (video clip)
Katrina & The Waves - "Walking On Sunshine" (9) (video clip)
Gary Moore & Phil Lynott - "Out In The Fields" (8) (video clip)
Bronski Beat & Marc Almond - "I Feel Love" (7) (video clip)
Phyllis Nelson - "Move Closer" (6) (TOTP clip)
DeBarge - "Rhythm Of The Night" (5) (video clip)
Marillion - "Kayleigh" (4) (video clip)
Jimmy Nail - "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" (3) (video clip)
Duran Duran - "A View To A Kill" (2) (video clip)

Paul Hardcastle – “19” (remix) (1) (video)
Fourth week at number one.

Five Star – “All Fall Down” (30) (audience dancing/credits)
The beginning of an incredibly successful three years for the group, this debut hit peaked at number 15.

June 6th is next.


  1. Just Janice tonight and doesn’t she do well! Full of energy and enthusiasm.

    Stephen ‘Tintin’ Duffy – Icing on the Cake – Not sure ‘Kiss me’ was quite the cake, but this isn’t bad for birthday boy Stephen with some nice backing vocals from two female backing singers who are wearing very tight dresses indeed!

    Animotion – Obsession – Quite a strange song with very direct lyrics! Interesting video.

    Billy Ocean – Suddenly – From the ‘Loverboy’ album, first came the disco track, then the stroppy rocker, then the ballad…and then ‘Mystery Lady’. The ballad is my favourite of the hit trio, even if it did feature on practically every ‘love songs’ compilation for years afterwards. Nothing could propel ‘Mystery Lady’ into hit making territory – even sticking ‘Suddenly’ on the B Side!

    OMD – So in love – Janice’s drinking pals struggle to regain former glories although this one is very tuneful with some nice sax.

    Scritti Politti – The Word Girl – Cod reggae.

    Breakers – Can’t stand the Mai Tai song and Gary Numan’s live ‘Are Friends Electric’ doesn’t grab me like the original did. Never heard of that German band before.

    Paul Hardcastle – 19 – FF

    Five Star – All fall down danceout – Ugh! Couldn’t stand this lot, and a quick look in the book shows that we’ve got many more of their hits to endure in coming years. Ultravox would release their own ‘All fall down’ a year or so later whilst my favourite song of that title was Lindisfarne’s 1972 effort with London’s ‘Centre Point’ on the sleeve.

    So just Stephen, Billy and OMD that I really enjoyed tonight. Love the ‘Hello’ joke Angelo btw!

  2. Top of the Pops Obsession might have been a good title

  3. Janice becomes the first solo presenter of a regular TOTP since December 1982, but for rather sad reasons as Mr Ravenscroft had been a witness to the Heysel Stadium disaster the night before, and understandably did not feel up to doing this show. Despite looking like Little Bo Peep Janice does a sterling job on her own, though the mentions she makes of Jonathan King on either side of the Animotion video ensured that BBC4 ended up cutting those two links to ribbons...

    Stephen Tintin Duffy looks pipecleaner thin as he appropriately sings about cake on his birthday - it doesn't look as if he had been eating much of it! This has a bit more punch than his previous hit, and the fetching backing singers do a good job of bolstering what would otherwise be an anaemic chorus. The Animotion video is certainly striking, even if it does feel a bit Carry on Cleo in places. A good record too, expertly melding together rock with synthpop to create a driving sound.

    The dry ice machines are turned up to the max as Billy Ocean does his thing, and I'm sure I saw a member of the audience down the front trying to waft the vapours away from her face at one point! There is a certain similarity to Hello about this one, but I think it is a better song and Billy sings it beautifully - it's probably the strongest hit of his second coming. The first two breakers we'll see again next time, but not the Numanoid's live rendition of his classic chart-topper. This didn't sound all that great, and he did it much better on the Old Grey Whistle Test revival a couple of weeks ago.

    OMD were indeed struggling at this point to live up to past glories, but while So in Love is a middling effort by their own high standards it is lifted by the melodic chorus and soaring synths; I have to concur with Janice about Andy's shirt! Next up is probably Scritti Politti's best-remembered song - it is cod-reggae, but very pleasant cod-reggae. Green looks considerably less androgynous than he did before, and appears to be dressed for some cricket or tennis. The Top 10 videos see Moore and Lynott follow A Flock of Seagulls to the Giant's Causeway (though they appear to be superimposed on to it in some shots), and poor old Phyllis is once again snubbed with not even a note of her former number 1 played. Five Star finally get an airing after several weeks in the chart, demonstrating that their soul-lite sound was in place from the beginning of their hit-making career. It's a shame we don't actually see Janice dancing to this, as it did genuinely look for a moment as if she would.

    1. Those edits either side of Animotion were utterly awful. Was it the case that she was just talking about JK rather than him doing one of his US roundups? Because if so, that is absurd to chop them out.

    2. Here's what they edited:

    3. Well, most of what was edited, even that doesn't contain the start of the link which is annoying as I would've edited it back in to the BBC4 version otherwise.

    4. Ahh n/m seems the same uploader also uploaded the preceding Stephen Duffy track separately, and it looks like the end of that might just about match the start of the Animotion one with a bit of luck. Will give it a go :)

    5. Apropos nothing, I was in a band in 85 looking for a band name, and we named ourselves Obsession after this track.

    6. Thanks for updating on the edit and where Peelie was.
      Remember that tragedy well and seeing it on the news that evening. Horrible and quite rightly got UK clubs banned from Europe.

  4. tin tin: one that revived itself in my memory as i listened to it again. even though his laissez-faire attitude and voice are still quite annoying (fortunately the latter is beefed up by lots of backing vocals), this a much better follow-up to the abject "kiss me". in fact i might actually be tempted to get hold of it for my synth pop collection. a time-stamped mention of the social security reminds me of the good old days where those in power assumed that everybody wanted to work, so didn't hassle those who didn't want to in the way they do nowadays.

    animotion: another one that had slipped from my memory, so i needed a refresher course. and it's decent with all the acoutrements of daneable synth-pop, yet something stops me from wholeheartedly liking it - maybe because the whole thing is built on just two chords repeated over and over? the male singer bears a striking resemblance to hollywood actor and star of the excellent "person of interest" tv series jim caviezel, and the guitarist has possibly the worst haircut ever seen

    billy ocean: hello, what's going on here? a pretty decent start to the show plummets like a stone with yet another outrageous rip-off from blighty's poundland version of wacko and/or lionel richtea (delete as appropriate). if he never got sued for plagiarism by those guys, then it's a bloody miracle. a definite contender for my "turkey" list of 1985

    omd: yet another that had slipped my mind, but in this case quite rightly so as it's clear they were running on empty at this point. they've even resorted to using guitar power chords, they're that devoid of ideas

    scritti politti: for some reason their totp appearances aren't on youtube, so i can't comment on green's latest look. musically you might say that (unlike bryan ferry's new album for example) this was very much if its time, and it could be dismissed as cod-reggae to boot (as sct already has done!). but its shinyness dazzles in the right way, as it is clear musical minds are at work making every single moment count. an absolute gem that i never tire of hearing, and one of the reasons i decided to carry on reviewing the programme for another year

    five star: i didn't think they got started until the following year. not an act i really want to be reminded of, but at least this modestly-performing debut (that i can't remember ever hearing before) is a cut above what's to come. i always thought the unfortunately-named doris was the best looking of the group, but sadly she never got picked to sing lead on their singles

    1. The lyrics are quite interesting on the The Word 'Girl' (would have been a clearer title), but maybe the music takes second billing too much for some.

  5. Mr Duffy with a nice enough follow-up, the lead in to the chorus is the most tuneful bit, but at least he has a proper band with him this time, even though he displays enormous reluctance to play that guitar. Those glasses on a chain around his neck make him resemble Larry Grayson.

    A rhyming pair up next, first Animotion with a storming synth pop anthem to, well, being very horny it seems, though the fancy dress video is more reminiscent of Mr Benn than a Hollywood epic.

    Then Billy Ocean with a lovely live vocal of a pretty lame record, so swings and roundabouts really. Doesn't sound like anything's happening very suddenly on this one.

    Breakers we'll see next time apart from Gaz, who does that irritating thing of letting the audience sing the song for him. You're not getting paid for that, Mr Numan.

    No recollection of the OMD song, and not surprising as it has no real melody, relying on the production to carry it through a big nothing. Not even big, a small nothing. Andy looks like he's had to rush out of the gents' before he had time to adjust his dress before leaving.

    Ah, that impeccable production, its Scritti Politti, no reggae record ever sounded like this. Deservedly a hit, and no surprises it still gets played to this day. Bit o' class.

    None of them received a hero's welcome, as Peter Kay once recalled on I Love the 80s. It's a wonder what a new remix or ten will do, as Frankie Goes to Hollywood found out the previous year.

    Not yet in the studio, but give them time, Five Star who were considered the epitome of naff with their Jacksons-obsessed father whipping them into shape, but looking back delivered a lot of light, fluffy, perfectly reasonable pop. Like this.

    1. I think Duffy resembles Paul Weller in some of the more closeup shots of the promotional video (which doesn't get shown on totp).

  6. Shakey Shakerson9 March 2018 at 03:27

    Well, white was certainly the fashion trend here, wasn't it? Its like a Daz commercial.

    Janice is flying solo and does a pretty bang-up job, especially on the countdown which she times to perfection. Songwise, its a bit of a slip following on from last week's decent offer.

    TinTin. No, sorry lad but there's no room in Hitland for a weak song and a weak singer. Off with you.

    Very 80s Animotion is followed by a very 70s Billy Ocean homaging/ripping off everything Lionel Ritchie ever wrote.

    Two of the breakers improve things a tad. Propoganda on their way to a deserved top spot so plenty of time to talk about that. The Mai Tai is one of the very few dance songs that I could listen to anywhere anytime. And its hardly played anywhere these days, which is both a shame and a delight because it means it hasn't worn out its welcome.

    Its OMD next, but unfortunately they've turned up without a tune. Shame to see how they've lost their musical mojo after their superb opening run of hits.

    Highlight of the week. The glorious Word Girl. I dont care if it IS cod-reggae, I love it, I tells yer, just love it. And Green has toned down the LadyDi-ness as well, so thats good.

    19 still there, and out we go with Five Star's very very weak opening 'hit'. Better to come from them methinks.

    Scores - Janice gets a healthy 7 whilst the music slips down to 5, saved mightily by Scritti and the breakers section.

    1. it's really gratifying to see that at least a couple of other reviewers rate the scritti politti track as much as i do. apart from that and last year's singles, there are a couple of other good cuts from the parent album "cupid & psyche '85" (what the hell does that mean?) in the form of "small talk" and "lover to fall"

    2. Cupid was a Greek God of Love, and Psyche was his Goddess lover in a very convoluted myth much beloved of feminist theory. I suppose the tale captured Green's imagination and he translated it to the modern era of 1985.

    3. thanks for that thx - as you can tell, i didn't study the classics at school! one of the things about scritti politti that hasn't yet been mentioned was their record sleeves, that were artful pastiches of adverts for high-end products like brandy and perfume. as a result of looking at those on discogs, i've also reminded that "the word girl" featured one ranking ann - who mercifully was edited out of the single edit!

    4. Ranking Anne seems to give a female counter viewpoint to the lead vocal, though I can't make out all her words. I still wish the music reflected more the disillusionment of the singer than the one note easygoing tone it has.

  7. So it's bye-bye to the physical version of NME after 66 years, with the last printed issue announced earlier this week and on the streets today. I haven't read it for years, but back in the day I looked forward to receiving it and Record Mirror through the letterbox and getting my weekly fix.

    Interestingly - to me, anyway - I had two indie stations from The Camden Experience (CDNX and CDNX2) tuned to myiPhone and, without warning or fanfare, within the last fortnight they've been replaced without my doing anything by two NME radio stations.

    1. i've mentioned this before, but i have a friend who despite having little if any interest in contemporary music doggedly kept buying copies of the NME until they stopped selling it, and started publishing free copies on a limited basis in cities with large student populations instead. as he lives in a small town he had no access to those, so whenever i went to my local tesco i would look out for copies there (and if they had any, then there were dozens if not hundreds of them!) to pick up for him the next time i visited

      i'm amazed that anyone bothers printing any kind of news publications these days, as i'm sure i'm far from the only one who can't even remember the last time they bought a newspaper or magazine? that is of course in total contrast to my (pre-internet) younger days, when from the mid-70's to mid-80's i would buy sounds every week, and also record mirror and the NME if i could afford to do so. and from the late 80's to the late 90's would buy at least three newspapers every sunday - along with Q magazine, that i almost counted down the days awaiting the next monthly edition to come out!

    2. Not music, but I couldn't do without my subscription to the Fortean Times. I also read the print edition of The Herald (Scottish paper). Never really got into the NME.

    3. The only print I buy nowadays is the Christmas Radio Times, even though it costs a whopping £4.50 nowadays. There's still nothing like anticipating all those Xmas shows and seasonal film favourites! The rest of the year there just isn't enough time to read magazines, except for toilet reading, seriously!

  8. I rather enjoyed this edition, most of these songs were ones that I like.

    Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy - A little slight perhaps, but not a bad pop song. I particularly enjoyed the guy on keyboards with his thatched harido.

    Animotion - I did think this may be the most mid-80s video in terms of its absurdity, but read on. This song's pretty good I think, it used to be a regular on the radio but not so much these days.

    Billy Ocean - The worst song on the show. Just really boring.

    Breakers - The brilliant Propaganda, but I gather we're getting this in full so I'll hold back on commenting. Mai Tai - No, HERE'S the most ridiculous video of the time! Again, I'll wait to comment. Gary Numan's live performance was inevitably nowhere near as good as the original.

    OMD - Not much love for this one, but although the songs aren't as good as the earlier stuff, I don't mind their mid-80s American influenced material at all. I rather like this one.

    Scritti Politti - Less Lady Diana now, more a minor Royal look for Green. Chalk me up as another who really likes this.

    Five Star - This is not exactly their finest moment, but I feel sorry for this lot. People are so snobby about pop music sometimes, I genuinely think they made a few terrific songs.

    1. Personally, as far as Five Star are concerned, I think "Rain Or Shine" is a beautiful sugary classic and "Can't Wait Another Minute" is damn goo as well.

    2. That was meant to say 'damn good'!

    3. "Damn goo" is funnier, though!

      Five Star's decline was really celebrated and gloated over when it came, which was a total overreaction. They were kind of ridiculous, but not in an offensive way.

    4. This is a thing that makes me laugh about popular music, how snobby people try and be about music which really isn't that complex or high brow. The same people who invoke music critic babble would never listen to the more complex experimental, classical or jazz music anyway.

    5. a classic freudian slip there arthur! as for the decline and fall of five star: i don't think it was because of their music that people felt such a sense of schadenfreude, but because they (and their notorious manager father buster) made no bones about living high on the hog during their brief heyday - a lifestyle that they ultimately couldn't afford to maintain. brother stedman's star consequently fell particularly low, as he was charged with an offence of public indecency after being arrested in a public convenience!

    6. Hey Noax. Glad someone else really liked all the songs this week. Thought it was a great show. Even liked the OMD song

  9. did anybody track down the full link for Animotion – Obsession ???

    1. I'm sure Drykid will come to the rescue with editing the full clip back into the show. While you're at it Drykid, could you put the whole video back in, and not just the two-and-a-half minutes shown on TOTP?

    2. I have done a restored version (about to put a link), but BBC4 haven't edited the length of that track, only the links at the end. It was shortened by the original editor back in 1985. Therefore to increase the length of it would create two problems - one being technical (it would be hard to get the links at the end to match due to the way applause is overlaid over the video.) But the main reason is that I'm trying to recreate the original episode rather than improve on it. There's plenty of things that could be done better than the BBC did them originally back in the 80s - the "Sexual Healing" video springs to mind - but ultimately that's the way they were shown originally and I wouldn't want to mess with that.

  10. I think all fall down is a good opener for five stars and most of their songs get the full 5 stars from me. Pity their song before this, crazy from luxury of life didn't chart in the top 40.

  11. A few other things I liked or spotted on this show:

    On the Animation video, the player dressed as a jester who drummed on the poolside kerb, likes the look of Cleopatra sprawled along the edge, and drums gently on her body, but when he moves along to the male further down, he stops and goes round him. Love it!

    In the Breakers section, I thought the Mai Tai video clip was reminiscent in parts with the special effects used by Earth Wind & Fire and Kool & The Gang.

    Talking of Kool & The Gang, they were unlucky to have been missed out of the Breakers section with the brilliant Cherish, which was only one place below Propaganda, and which was a true Breaker, unlike Gary Numan who was actually in the top 40 the previous week! It could be that the Cherish video was not ready yet, and so they somehow opted for Numan as a climber, not a Breaker!

    In the Top Ten video rundown this week, there was an unusual situation where Debarge had fallen from No.4 to No.6 the previous week, but had gone back up to No.5 this week. Well done to them, given that TOTP did not bother to give them a full feature during their successful run, and as one of the most played tracks on the radio in May 1985.

    I did like the bevvy of cuties, i.e., four girls dancing on the Five Star playout, especially the one with the long frizzy hair doing the final clap on the fadeout. These lovelies would all be in the 50s now, and no doubt with young adults/teenagers of their own!

  12. Here's my restored version with the missing Animotion links edited back into the BBC4 version (using two different youtube videos; thanks to uploader.) Note that there is still a gap of a second or so that is audio-only as this bit was in neither youtube video and the only place I could get it from was the BBC4 version (where they'd moved it to overtop of the Animotion itself to try and hide their own revisionism *sigh*)

    TOTP 30/05/1985

    Full restored list:

    1. drykid, Did you get my links to 3 edits done by the BBC to previous programmes? I posted them on the comments to the 18/4/85 edition.

    2. ooh no, didn't see that. if they're ones I skipped due to no original version available then I will definitely go back and add them. Cheers!

    3. Hi drykid.

      I've just tried downloading the 07/11/1985 episode from your website, but it's no longer available? I see you've uploaded it to WeTransfer. Are you no longer able to upload TOTP to 4Shared anymore?

      Aidan Lunn

  13. i've always thought of janice long as a bit of a plain jane (and being cheggers' sister doesn't help either) who tended to compensate for her lack of good looks with her "bubbly" personality. but i have to admit that every time i have looked at that pic of her above for this edition, i can't help but think how pretty she looks!

    1. Generally, when people (women) are in a new relationship, they tend to go softer and curvier round the edges with some loss in weight around the hips and belly mostly, but also the shoulders, due to the happy hormones kicking in, and this look by Janice Long in the picture above is reflective of the change compared to before her relationship with Peter Powell, i.e., on the 1983 shows with her as the first female presenter of TOTP. Good luck to her.

  14. Super solo job from Janice – nice outfit and nice midriff while I’m at it. Made up for the lack of a blooper which Peelie would have pounced on.

    Stephen ”Everard” Duffy failing miserably to locate the ‘on’ camera throughout “Icing On The Birthday Cake”. Points gained for the backing singers’ matt and gloss alternative dresses and their interwoven vocal lines.

    Animotion with a knuckle-bare raunchy remake of “Carry On Cleo”. The lyrics go “Who do you want me to be?” - I’m guessing Marc Antony.

    Lionel Ocean with “Hi” and an awful jacket and trews mismatch. All we needed was a bolsa wood re-creation of Billy’s head for the full effect.

    Propaganda. Don’t mention the war!

    Mai Tai win the award for most jarring change of styles yet in a video.

    Gary Numan with a video as bland as his makeup. I fecking hate it when you go to a gig and the arse vocalist makes you sing the lyrics. I’ve fecking paid to hear them sing – give me a partial refund!

    OMDOKish. Your round, lads! At least Malcolm got a full drumkit his time – remember his debut?

    Talking of drummers, Scritti Politti have gained a cod reggae style and lost the lovely Sasha. Never been a fan of this song but I can see why people like it.


    Janice obviously not a fan of one of the top three at least, judging by her wish for them to jiggle around next week.

    I’m so glad we missed out on Little and Large after hearing what sounded like the Romford Debarge.

    1. i'm pretty sure the lovely sasha never actually played drums on any scritti politti records, but was just used as window dressing in the videos for the songs produced by arif mardin the previous year (in lieu of session player and ex average white band drummer steve ferrone). however new drummer fred maher was officially part of the latest line-up along with keyboard player (and fellow american) david gamson, with both making crucial contributions to the shiny new sound

  15. Right.. finally got a day off work..time to catch up (there are 5 again!!!)

    Janice is live, Peel is absent, Wifey is ironing and chipping in and Janice has come in her night dress..

    A great start from TinTin. This hit doesn't get much airplay but I quite like it. A bit Style Council in places.

    Brutal edit - what have you said now Janice!

    Now this Animotion tune is brilliant. Don't recall seeing the video before and is a bit cheesy. Proper party tune.

    Billy Ocean - Wifey chips in with "I had this" and has started reminiscing about slow disco dances,
    It is a good tune and Billy Ocean is a fine singer. Enjoying all of his songs on these re-runs.

    Propaganda - lovely song. A real fave of mine. I always like a bit of orchestra in my pop!
    Mai Tai - Another great disco record.
    Numan - Been a hit before of course. Seems a bit of a pointless re=release.

    Hooray it's the fabulous OMD! So In Love new to me but love their sound and their new album is superb. They were on the Hips,Hype,Hustle documentary a few weeks ago talking about getting back together. Still having a great time and making great music.
    This is a great song - shame it got no higher.

    Scritti up next - Wifey will chip in here cos she's a fan.
    "Oh I liked this one" there she is!!!
    I like this one too Wifey.

    Nice new graphics on the Top ten videos.
    That Katrina video is still shocking.
    Moore and Lynott still just noise...
    Bye Bye Bronski...thank goodness
    Good Top Five this fact a good chart.
    Wifey's fave Duran Duran at number 2 . Wifey says they played the whole video at the end of the film and her and her Dad were the last to leave the cinema. she was obsessed.!!

    Great Number one as well.

    The start of the Five Star supremacy. "I've seen them at the The Hexagon, Reading" chips in Wifey...
    I was a fan also "Silk and Steel" a classic 80s album.

    Janice on fire - superb TOTP tonight, best of the year so far.