Thursday, 26 April 2018

Don't Mess With Top of the Pops

Its a live edition of Top of the Pops from 29th August 1985 and no one can stop you saying 'bottom' if you want to!

Top of the Screams!

29/08/85  (Janice Long & John Peel)

Mai Tai – “Body & Soul” (18)
Getting this live show underway with their second and final top ten hit, peaking at number 9.

Dan Hartman – “I Can Dream About You” (16)
In the studio tonight to perform his final top 40 hit, which went up four more places.

D Train – “You’re The One For Me” (15)
Featuring Paul Hardcastle on the 'keyboard thingy' this was his remix of their 1982 number 30 hit, which was now their final top 40 hit and at its peak.

Bananarama – “Do Not Disturb” (40) (breaker)
Their only hit of 1985, peaking at number 31.

Bryan Ferry – “Don’t Stop The Dance” (39) (breaker – Montreux clip)
Peaked at number 21.

Madness – “Yesterday’s Men” (30) (breaker)
Peaked at number 18.

Thompson Twins – “Don’t Mess With Doctor Dream” (22)
Alannah waggles her tonsils and the song peaked at number 15.

UB40 & Chrissie Hynde – “I Got You Babe” (1) (video)
Its one and only week at number one.

Amii Stewart – “Knock On Wood” (33) (audience dancing/credits)
This remix of her top 5 hit from 1979 peaked at number 7.

September 5th is next, but its a Mike Smith edition.


  1. Janice and John are back for what would actually be their last show together in 1985, as Peel did not appear again for the rest of the year. He seemed a little below-par here to me, slightly overdoing the bewildered "I don't know what I'm doing" schtick, though he does deliver one cutting line when referring to Dire Straits as the "pulsating sound of Radio 2." Janice looks to be enjoying every minute, and is by far the livelier of the two.

    Mai Tai continue to model themselves on The Pointer Sisters in this studio performance of their second hit, which sounds suspiciously similar to the first one. Efficient enough pop fare anyway, and the same goes for Dan Hartman's comeback single, a long way from Instant Replay but quite effective in the way the vocals transition from the restraint of the verses to the more passionate chorus; it took a long time to become a UK hit, but deserved to. Dan looks like he has stepped out of Miami Vice in this performance, and the male backing singer with the upturned collar appears to love himself just that little bit too much.

    Paul Hardcastle makes his TOTP studio debut with D Train, playing that keytar energetically but looking very nerdy; the singer, meanwhile, appears to be modelling himself on Barry White. The breakers will all be on again, but I thought the Nanas' video, with its stylised hotel, was quite fun. Next up it's The Thompson Twins, with what would prove to be their last Top 20 hit. On this evidence you can see why, as the song lacks a good hook and Alannah's screaming fits are enough to put anyone off! She looks rather like a punky Marie Antoinette here, while Tom appears to have been to Howard Jones' barber.

    On to the Top 10 videos, and King are cavorting in an exotic locale in theirs - was it Greece? Over the Baltimora comic strip promo, Janice seems to suggest that there were claims circulating that Jimmy had not been allowed to wear just his loincloth the previous week. However, whether it was just modesty on his part or prudery on Michael Hurll's, I guess we will never know for sure! We also get a brief clip of the famous Live Aid video for Drive, which has not lost its power to shock. After the dreary number 1 (one week only, thank goodness), the crowd get into yet another '85 rerelease, this time of Amii Stewart's 1979 disco classic. If this is a remix, I couldn't really tell...

    1. I thought History was a much more downbeat song, and with a more weighted down sound. This one feels a contrast to me.

  2. The full final link, cut as usual thanks to a mention of Smitty, is available here:

    1. Joe B will you be doing one of your brilliant TOTP restorations ?

    2. So this was the final regular 7.30pm edition of Top of the Pops on a Thursday night. The beginning of the end....

    3. This edition was actually shown at 7.55. This had been the normal start time for TOTP since April, with EastEnders at 7 and Tomorrow's World (and other shows) at 7.30. EastEnders' move to 7.30 at the start of September would precipitate the swaparound in the schedules.

    4. It would remain at 7pm until 6th June 1996 as it moved to Friday evenings as the chart was outdated and but it would be on Thursday evenings on other occasions due to sport or the 3rd of August 2001 episode moved to 7pm cos the following day there was a special EastEnders night as the soap made it 4 times a week or sometimes it would move to BBC Two due to Comic Relief or Children in Need.

    5. I expect that this new prison sentence for 11 years at 7pm on Thursdays was because the BBC would not move Eastenders from its 7.30pm slot for all that time, and so TOTP could never get its 7.30pm slot back again.

      What a shame, cos I never had the time of day for Eastenders with all the shouting and screaming on each programme, especially unwelcome after a long day at work where you just want the lighter side of life to relax when you come home.

  3. Another Montreux clip? Good grief! Still, at least it isn't "Cherish" again!

  4. Ah, Janice and John and all is right in the world for half an hour.

    Mai Tai first, I prefer this to their other hit, it has a catchy melody, some soaring singing and a killer middle eight. Middle Mai Tai is dressed in a kitchen tablecloth for some reason. Great start to the show.

    Dan Hartman with a superb pop tune, OK, it's mostly chorus but what a chorus, wistful and melodic and he seems to be singing and playing live, more power to him. Apparently he and Peelie really did get on well backstage, too, it wasn't a joke. Streets of Fire is a bit of a "your dad thinks you'll like this" film, but for that song we can be thankful to it.

    D Train, another winner, three in a row! Paul Hardcastle with tight perm and keytar as I believe they were called (and the spellcheck agrees). Muscular dance tune, probably sounded excellent in a club but sounds pretty fine outside of one too.

    Then the Breakers, no recollection of Banarama's tune, obviously in dire need of a reboot courtesy of Stock Aitken and Waterman. "Do Not Disturb" is a weak concept for a song - was the B-side "Ring for Room Service"? Then Bri with an OK, moody number, and Madness' comeback single that was gentle and quiet, and that was never going to set the charts aflame.

    Then comfortably the worst thing on the show for some time, The Thompson Twins with something that sounds like the kind of tune you fast-forwarded through on the end credits of a VHS you'd rented back in the day. Absolutely horrible, a poseur's idea of cool that dated in nanoseconds.

    Even UB40 and Chrissie are an improvement next to that with their karaoke. But Amii Stewart is here to save the day in the dance play out, even if it is an oldie rereleased for motives lost in the mists of time.

    1. Really liking the Dan Hartman track, that I brought out the Streets of Of Fire movie on DVD, and boy was it just fine. Other music on the soundtrack came from Jim Steinman for Fire Inc, with Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young, and Nowhere Fast, and also Maria McKee, Marilyn Martin and Ry Cooder contributing their fare share on the movie soundtrack. Definitely worth a movie watch with popcorn by your side on this final April weekend and April showers!

  5. Peelie seemed to be channelling his fellow Scouser Kenny Everett at the start with his famous 'Can I say "bum" on the BBC?' radio sketch....

    Mai Tai - I've always preferred this to the other one even though I now recognise that they are not entirely dissimilar!

    Dan Hartman - This one completely passed me by at the time, I discovered it in the 90s when I had to play it on the radio and unlike many other things on my playlist, decided that I rather liked it actually.

    D Train - The remix adds lots of unnecessary widdly wah nonsense and oh, here's Lennie Bennett....I mean Paul Hardcastle who was the perpetrator to demonstrate them in an over-enthusiastic manner. Hmm....

    Breakers - As we apparently see them all later I'll save commenting for now.

    Thompson Twins - With their new smash, 'Drugs are bad, m'kay?' Joking aside, although it's a bit naff and hardly their finest tune, I don't mind this one. The late 80s house music producers liked sampling it. I could've done without Alanah's dental examination face though.

    Amii Stewart - Not overly different from the original until the instrumental break bit where the producers decide that one kitchen sink is not quite enough. Sadly we don't get to that entertaining section on this show.

    1. Noax, we only get Bananarama as the outro in a later show, so feel free to make a comment about their breaker moment.

    2. OK. It was garbage. That's all I've got!

  6. mai tai: i think this was a flop before "history", and listening on yt i can see why. plodding and lumpen, with a hideous gated snare sound that sadly would be heard all too often as the decade went on

    dan hartman: still hanging in there all these years after his disco anthem "instant replay", and looking like the kid brother of joe don baker (who was just about to make a massive impression on a british tv audience with his show-stealing turn in the political thriller "edge of darkness"). dan's very much in hall & oates territory with this inoffensive poppy dance number. apparently he was a closet homosexual whose sexuality only became known after he died from aids. of course several british gay pop stars had already come out by now, but does anyone know who was the first american of any note to do so (the village people apart - of whom it was assumed all were of that persuasion. although none admitted as such, and some were actually straight)?

    d train: prior to his breakthrough with "19" paul hardcastle had been beavering away for several years doing his d-train impressions (before his solo career he was in a duo called first light with a james williams-style black singer). and here he is taking coals to newcastle so to speak. but as mentioned before, i can hear no substantial difference (other than perhaps the synth solo) between this and the original version released 4 or 5 years earlier. it's ironic that this template-setting early 80's dance track should find success again, just as the sound was being phased out in favour of a more street/urban feel in the clubs

    thompson twins: not one i remember from them at all. actually quite funky to start with, although the parping synth pad doesn't help. then it loses its way a bit in the chorus. annoyah no longer needs to wear stupid peaked caps, as her hair is now a sort-of hat in itself - bet her scalp would remain bone-dry if she got cought in a torrential rainstorm!

    amii stewart: that's two disco-era tracks (1981 just about counts) re-issued as remixes on one show - even though as sct will attest, the charts were not exactly bereft of new dance/club material at this point. like "you're the one for me", my ears detect next-to no difference to the original

  7. The highlight of this show is the continued chemistry of the hosts although what Peelie meant saying “the pounding sound of Radio2” when announcing Dire Straits is anyone’s guess. I gather from reading above that it’s the last we’ll see of them in tandem. Shame.

    Mai Tai – Body and Soul – FF

    Dan Hartman – I can dream about you – FF

    D Train – You’re the one for me – FF

    Breakers – All good actually! Don’t recall the Bananarama one too well, Bryan Ferry’s hit I bought the 12” at the time, and Madness’s ‘Yesterday’s Men’ is infinitely preferable for me than the likes of ‘Wings of a Dove’. No mention of two other great breakers; ‘The Show’ by Rebecca Storm and the marvellous ‘Holding out for a Hero’ given a kick up the charts by being theme music to ‘Cover up’ after it bafflingly failed to chart when originally released from the ‘Footloose’ soundtrack. These two will have their moment…

    Thomson Twins – Don’t mess with Dr Dream – Diminishing returns led me to FF once again after about a minute.

    UB40 / Chrissie Hynde – I got you Babe – FF – first and only week at no1 mercifully!

    Ami Stewart - Knock on Wood playout – breakers aside, probably the best song on the show.

    Now, anyone heard that new Abba track?

    1. Janice and John will be back together in 1986, but this is it for them in '85 (unless they appear together in the Xmas show). We will however be seeing plenty more of Janice during the autumn editions.

      I assumed that Peel's comment about Dire Straits was a snarky put-down of the band for being dad-rockers that only elderly Radio 2 listeners would find dynamic.

    2. Re ABBA - exciting news that they have recorded new songs, though I am sure expectations will be so high that there will be some kind of backlash when they are released. I don't think a release date has been announced yet.

    3. 'Sultans of Swing' came on in Costa this morning. Dad-rock or not, it still sounds fab!

    4. The ABBA songs (and TV show) are due in December.

  8. Janice as amiable and chatty as ever (nice mullet and tassels combo there) but the anti-Bates came across tonight as a subdued Peelie by numbers, and on his birthday too.

    You can tell the lead Mai Tai as she’s the one in the middle not wearing all black. Not a fan of this tune.

    If Dan Hartman, wearing the definitive mid 80’s jacket, was singing live as suggested that was an excellent performance. Very good comparison earlier to Hall and Oates, by the way.

    Great dancefloor classic from D Train. Shame about that weedy looking nerd on keyboards thingy. He won’t amount to much.

    Bananarama didn’t disturb the top 30 with this effort. Ahem.

    Oo, never seen a red hi-hat cymbal before. Bryan Ferry’s smoothie isn’t really that dancey despite the title – more of a lounge lizard swayer if you ask me.

    Madness with “Yesterday’s Men”. How apt. Suggs singing “It must get better in the long run”. I hate to tell you, mate...

    Annoyah! What a brilliant name there! Her percussion playing made me yearn for Harry Hill’s car horn xylophone. Are we quite sure this wasn’t meant to be the B-side? The Thompson Twins not messing with the top ten (Ahem number two), with this rubbish or ever again.

    Who had the idea of getting Princess to sing in front of some bemused BMX kids? A harrowing clip accompanying The Cars, making the chart topper less frightening as a result.

    I don’t remember Amii Stewart’s cover being quite that fast before. Maybe it’s just me getting slower.

    1. Yeah, D Train was one of the best offerings on this show, I just love the dance floor punchy beat that goes with out, Hardcastle or no Hardcastle!

      Peel says that Madness enter with their first hit for two years. I'm sure that is not correct, because they released some chart music in 1984. Can anyone clarify? Surely they had other chart hits between Wings Of A Dove in Aug 1983 and this new one in Aug 1985??

    2. Correct, Dory. This was Madness's first single for about a year and a quarter, with "Michael Caine" and "One Better Day" charting in 1984. Maybe Peelie had forgotten those two minor (for the lads) hits, or he was getting mixed up with the fact it was two years since Madness last (and never again) made the top 10.

    3. Correction - Madness did actually make the top ten twice more, but way later, in 1992 and 1999.

  9. I think the Ferry song is him revisiting the Avalon sound still but it feels with diminishing returns. I'd say it's the weakest record on the edition.

    Bananarama and Madness sound decent efforts, nice darker energy on the Bananarama with a quicker ending to the chorus and a nice arrangement on the Madness.

    And Mai Tai seem to have an upbeat American sound here, and it works quite well.

    I Can Dream About You is alright, very upbeat record. The chorus does repeat some amount in it so not a great song to me, but it's a sound that takes you back to then, and wants to create a good mood.

    The Thompson Twins song isn't actually that bad, some 80s energy there. Some effort has been put into it, too much for some perhaps but it's interesting enough.

    I Got You Babe is actually better than I expected, probably not one you want to hear loads (the song is rather simple), but they vary the vocals in it to make it ok now and again if in the mood. The energy of the beat helps.

    The Lisa Lisa song from the last edition and in the charts still was decent as well, it did much better here than the US. But I think it's better than their two US No1s and so helps feed my opinion that the UK charts are better.

  10. A WeTransfer link to the 5 September show is now available, courtesy as normal of Neil B:

  11. Tarzan Boy I think is made by the verse, it's weightier and has atmosphere. The chorus would just sound too light without it, though that's meant to be the big hook I can see how it could get annoying. Not one of the greatest europop for me but you can see why it was huge.

  12. Lost ToTP time again folks! This is only a set of clips, spoilt by the guy's very intrusive logo, but on the pretext that I never thought I'd see some of these again, anything is better than nothing.

    I must admit to a shiver down my spine when Hot Chocolate struck up with 'Emma'. Had forgotten totally about this presentation. Bryan Ferry also sounded good (and not the recorded version). If only he'd post the whole performances!!

    1. Another great find, sct, though a shame as you say that the egotistical poster felt it necessary to plaster his initials all over the picture; also a bit frustrating that the clips are so short. Still, plenty of stuff there that I have never seen before, and it was particularly nice to have that performance of Emma, which is a fantastic song and probably the best thing Hot Chocolate ever did.

    2. One of my internet pet hates is these YouTube uploaders who take copyrighted material and stick a big logo on it to make it somehow "theirs" when in fact they just happened to have recorded it off the TV a few years ago. It's not yours because you stick you ident on it, you're just nicking it like everyone else on YT!

    3. Was Errol Brown and the rest of Hot Chocolate on the Windrush boat to Britain when they arrived? If so, then it should embarrass the government even more than already, when you consider Hot Chocolate's contribution to music and entertainment in pop music for Britain.

    4. Errol Brown wasn't on the Windrush, but he did come from Britain to Jamaica a few years later, when he was 12.

    5. Sorry, that should have been "to Britain from Jamaica"!

    6. This is another one I found that is worth a view. 'Silly Love' by 10cc. The guy has dubbed on the album track version (which ends naturally after an extended instrumental break) and faded the video to black....and no logos! Nice to see Godley, Creme, Stewart and Gouldman in action again.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. OK restored version (BBC4HD plus missing section) here:

    TOTP 29/08/1985

    Previous restorations:

    I recently decided to do something I've meant to do for ages now and start watching the BBC4 repeats on a proper 4:3 CRT display as they were meant to be seen (encouraged somewhat by managing to snag a very stylish-looking Bang & Olufsen 21" at a car boot sale for peanuts.) Anyway I was a bit worried about watching my restorations his way as I've always de-interlaced them for computer display and wasn't sure how it would look when viewed on an interlaced display. But it looked fine to me - could barely tell it from the original - so I needn't have worried.

  15. Janice and John in a live edition this week so hopefully be a good one...fingers crossed.

    Mai Tai kick us off and as I mentioned last week this is a song I'd forgotten I'd forgotten and a senior school disco favourite. Tried to find this but not on Spotify so may have to dig out a copy from somewhere.
    Someone has desperately tried to get some choreography into these girls and they are doing their best to ignore it and do their own thing anyway.

    There was a Live Aid book? Anyone here have one?

    Dan "instant reply" Hartman up next. Remember a very cheesy SAW 90's cover of that from Yell
    This is a great tune.. Classic AOR mid 80s fare even down to the rolled up jacket sleeves.

    D Train have managed to get Paul Hardcastle on board. Was he responsible for this remix?
    Tapping my feet along to this one..

    Breakers time:
    The Banana's back with a very under-rated song and a bit of a fan favourite. Quite a nice video as well.
    Bryan Ferry gets the thumbs up from my co-watcher, hadn't heard this before. Worth another losten.
    Don't know this Madness one either. Quite subdued for them, they are growing up...

    Thompson Twins still having hits - didn't realise they were still together in 85. The hair is still wonderful. The songs still sound the same. good but not great.. Always good to see them though..and found myself singing along.

    Thanks god we were spared Baltimora in a loin cloth. Princess with some very underwhelmed kids on bikes in the background of her video. The sound of Radio 2 and some Kate Bush ballet leads up to....

    A song that divides the forum is now number 1. As previously stated I am a fan.
    Last months Classic Pop mag has an interview with Ali, Astro and Mikey and they are quite scathing of the rest of the band... no reunion tour gonna happen there....

    Happy birthday Peelie...much missed.

    Great disco sound to play out. Huge fan of this song. Another great edition..

    Right...back to the contraband....

    1. there is a UB40 tribute band coming to my local all-purpose council-run venue soon. i told the guy responsible there that he might as well book one of the two "genuine" ones instead, as they probably won't cost much more these days!

    2. I watched the Princess video again and one of the BMX lads in the row is seriously nodding his head to the beat in approval.