Thursday, 3 May 2018

Top of the Pops in the Street

Calling out around the UK, summer's here and the time is right for the September 12th 1985 edition of Top of the Pops!

It doesn't matter what you wear, luckily.....

12/09/85  (Mike Read & Steve Wright)

Amii Stewart – “Knock On Wood” (12)
And Amii has flown in from Italy to get tonight's show underway with this remixed version of her 1979 top five hit, which this time peaked at number 7.

Huey Lewis & The News – “The Power Of Love” (19) (Montreux clip)
Peaked at number 11.

Maria Vidal – “Body Rock” (26)
Channeling a little bit of Madonna here I think, but this was Maria's only hit and it peaked at number 11.

Marillion – “Lavender” (13)
Fish is off his sickbed and donned in his red coat and tartan trousers to channel a bit of Bob Dylan in this performance of 'Lavender Blue'.

Cliff Richard – “She’s So Beautiful” (33) (breaker)
The least said about the video the better! Peaked at number 17.

Red Box – “Lean On Me (Ah-Li-Ayo)” (30) (breaker)
Their first of two top ten hits, this one being the biggest peaking at number 3.

Midge Ure – “If I Was” (29) (breaker)
On its way to number one.

Mai Tai – “Body & Soul” (10)
Went up one more place.

The Top Nine:
Princess - "Say I'm Your Number One" (9) (video clip)
Kate Bush - "Running Up That Hill" (8) (video clip)
Madonna - "Into The Groove" (7) (video clip)
The Cars - "Drive" (6) (video clip)
Stevie Wonder - "Part Time Lover" (5) (video clip)
Baltimora – “Tarzan Boy” (4) (video clip)
UB40 & Chrissie Hynde - "I Got You Babe" (3) (video clip)
Bonnie Tyler – “Holding Out For A Hero” (2) (video clip)

David Bowie & Mick Jagger – “Dancing In The Street” (1) (video)
Second of four weeks at the top.

Bananarama - "Do Not Disturb" (31) (audience dancing/credits)
Got no higher.

September 19th is next.


  1. A few nice moments here….and some not so. Good rapport from the hosts.

    Amii Stewart – Knock on Wood – Our old friend Amii returns to the ToTP studio with a rousing rendition of her 1979 US chart topper. I actually liked this so much better than Bowie’s version and Amii looks great in that pink dress. Great opener. I’ve just re-watched her ‘Friends’ ToTP performance and love that dance break still.

    Huey Lewis and the News – The Power of Love – Surprisingly bland for me. Just an average record and the group don’t really catch the eye either.

    Marie Vidal – Body Rock – Another lady enjoying herself. This song sounds like something else that I can’t put my finger on.

    Marillion – Lavender Blue – Still puzzled why they kept calling this single ‘Blue’ on ToTP as this was not the title on the 7”, chart listing or album. Only the 12”. Actually Marillion released much better singles that this – ‘Hooks in you’ and ‘Easter’ are two such examples. Soar throated Derek has been into his local W H Smiths and bought himself an artist’s pad which he then wrote the words on and rips out one by one and wastes load of good paper. Litterbug!

    Breakers – Mixed bag here. I’ll comment when they feature on the show properly.

    Mai Tai – Body and Soul – FF

    David Bowie / Mick Jagger – Dancing in the Street – Bored with this already. FF

    Bananarama – Do not disturb danceout – Quite a good record really…not really heard it much before.

    1. I usually prefer songs first time round, but in the case of Amii Stewart, the fact that she made more effort with this track second time round in 1985 with regard to coming to the UK to perform it, coupled with her lanky hourglass figure on a sexy dress this week, I must say I was pleasantly surprised, as I don't remember this track second time round in 1985, but only the first time round in 1979 struggling to find a studio performance or video of it at the time, considering it was classic disco.

      With regard to Maria Vidal, I think you are thinking of the similarity to the Flashdance soundtrack from 1983 with Irene Cara, or possibly Manaic from the same movie soundtrack.

  2. An awkward moment at the start here, as neither Read nor Wrighty seemed to know who should begin the introductions. Thereafter they were both OK, with Wrighty somewhat less hyperactive than usual, and the two of them showing a little bit of chemistry. However, Mike did make an uncharacteristic error in asserting that Midge had already enjoyed a solo number 1.

    Amii Stewart starts us off by performing Knock on Wood in the studio for the first time, as she did not do so back in 1979. An energetic, enjoyable performance with dance moves rather more conventional than those she deployed in her previous appearance on the show earlier in the year. Off next for what feels now like our weekly visit to Montreux. Out of the three songs of this title to be hits in 1984-85, this one is definitely the runt of the litter, an uber-bland piece of AOR that I have always found quite boring; though heavily associated with Back to the Future, it doesn't even feature in the film to a particularly great extent, just as one brief snatch early on. Fittingly the band look just as dull as their music, and they seem to have hired their accountant to play the drums...

    Maria Vidal takes her lead from Amii Stewart and moves energetically around the stage, but that, the purple gloves and the big hooped earrings are not enough to make this song any less forgettable; it's the kind of thing you listen to and wonder why anybody could be bothered to record it, let alone release it commercially, so utterly anonymous is it. Thankfully Marillion then turn up with both a decent, stately tune (definitely called Lavender Blue as far as TOTP are concerned) and a highly memorable performance as a stricken Fish mimes and struggles with his flip-chart at the same time. As alluded to by Angelo above, a somewhat farcical Subterranean Homesick Blues homage.

    The Cliff record is the only breaker that won't be on again, and that video does look rather unfortunate through 2018 eyes, not that Cliff has anything to ashamed about, of course; by coincidence, the false allegation made against him dates from around this time. As mentioned, the song comes from the musical Time, which was co-written by Dave Clark and ran for a couple of years in the West End, with David Cassidy replacing Cliff as the star later on. It is quite a catchy little tune, but far from being one of the best Cliff singles.

    Mai Tai seem to be the Showaddywaddy of 1985, always available for a studio appearance, and the middle one has borrowed a number 1 earring from Princess for this latest turn. Stevie Wonder is in an old elevator for his video, Bonnie Tyler's promo is as understated as the song it accompanies, and Bowie and Jagger continue peacocking around at the top. Finally, the Nanas wrap things up with a lesser-heard but pretty good offering that makes for perfectly danceable playout material.

    1. The Cliff Richard song is the only one I skip on the otherwise excellent 'Private Collection' CD. A quick check on the credits modestly states "Produced and performed by Stevie Wonder. All instruments played by Stevie Wonder. Arranged by Stevie Wonder". Didn't sound like Stevie singing nor did he write the song, but it's an absolute clunker for me.

    2. according to the yt clip i watched of fish & co, even wrighty was aware of the bob dylan showing the lyrics on cards thing!

      sct: does the cliff track in question also say: "tea made by stevie wonder"? having said that, i can't help thinking of the smith and jones sketch where "walter and smike try to make a cup of tea":

    3. Way back in 1979 Michael Hurll had directed Amii Stewart's performance of 'Knock on Wood'at Montreux, so I presuming that Hurll had no trouble inviting her to TOTP in September 1985.

    4. I'm quite fond of the Cliff track, though that's probably because I've mostly listened to it within the confines of it's parent album. Shame that Dave Clark's being so stubborn over giving permission for it to be released on CD.

      I remember Maria Vidal's Body Rock being featured a lot on 'No Limits'.

      The Bananarama single had two 12 inch singles that looked exactly the same. The same sleeve, same label and same catalogue number. The difference was, one of them had the Do Not Disturb Bananamix. This had a stars on 45 type medley towards the end of the song. The only way you could tell which you were getting was by a sticker on the sleeve. I got it from 'Adrian's Records' who advertised in the Record Mirror. Got Ian Dury's F*&k Off Noddy in the same order.

    5. are you the same nigel as that of "nigel's golden years" fame?

      btw i remember "adrian's records" mail order service, as advertised in the weekly music papers in the late 70's!

    6. to my recollection adrian's records was somewhere in essex(my memory was ilford, but it turns out to be wickford - so half right then ha ha), so i looked them up on a search engine just to confirm that... and found out that they're actually still in business!:

    7. Yes, it's me as confirmed on the other thread. I'm pretty sure that it was Ilford back in the Record Mirror days.

      I still pay the annual hosting fee for that website. Freeola accidentally deleted my files a few years ago. I've been intending to put them back ever since, and complete the '73 to '84 era. But when I bought a new pc a couple of years ago, I somehow didn't copy all of my files over, so I have about half of the 'Golden Days' files missing. One day, I'll take the hard disc out of that old pc and attempt a recovery. It's just finding time. I didn't have kids when I started the site in 1997, I now have three.

    8. nigel thanks for the confirmation. i don't know if you are aware of this, but your name and old site came up in conversation between myself and another regular a few weeks back. as a result of that i checked out the internet archive to see if any of it was there. and most of it was!:

      i first read it about 15 years ago and was disappointed when it disappeared. however as a result of digging it up i'm now making my way through all the charts again. i have just got up to the point where these totp reruns started (circa april 1976), and hope to be able to make my way right through to the end (very close to where we are now in these re-runs!) when time allows. and as a result of doing so have already come across a few excellent minor hits that i would never have been made aware of otherwise!

    9. Hi Nigel. It was myself that wilberforce was referring to. It's great to see you writing on here as you're a legend! I have spent many an hour reading and chuckling at your wry observations. The one that always creases me up (and I am still reminded of it every time I hear the record) is the 'Buffy' reference in Dana's 'Please tell him that I said hello'.

    10. Wow, thank you so much Wilberforce and SCT. I've just visited the internet archive and it is indeed there, and as far as I can see, it appears to be all of it. So, I'm going over there now to download my missing files. Then I'm itching to get it back online and complete 74,78,82,83 and 84. Cheers again.

    11. glad to be of help, nigel. perhaps i might hold off on browsing through 1978 until you've got it all back online and up to date?

      by the way, i would have thought myself and sct were far from alone in being disappointed when the original site disappeared? it's a brilliant concept that i wish i had thought of myself. still, this blog has given me many opportunities over the last few years not to just give my opinions on old records, but also stroll down my own memory lane by associaton from time to time as well


  3. If This Is It is a better Huey Lewis track, got to 39 in October 84.

    1. I only heard about that song years later on a compilation video, because no.39 was not high enough for a play of the video on TOTP in October 84, but yeah, it is full of adorable bikini bodies on some American beach, California probably.

    2. Yes, I bought that single at the time and don't recall ever seeing the video.

  4. Amii Stewart beams her way through a remix that has approximately ten seconds of remixed material, and is not an improvement. Fortunately the rest is much as before, one of the great disco covers.

    "Hold it, fellas. I'm afraid you're just too darn loud!" Huey Lewis and the News with the first of this episode's movie songs, their catchy cover of The Pinheads original (ahem), a song that has achieved 80s classic status more by association with BTTF, though it is as usual with this lot, a very decent slice of dad rock. First mention of a credit card in a hit record?

    Maria Vidal with the second of tonight's songs from a movie, though where BTTF is one of the decade's best, most innovative blockbusters, Body Rock is a stone cold turkey, a hip-hop cash in that posits the risible Lorenzo Lamas as a breakdancer which leads to some of the most embarrassing dance scenes of the decade. But Maria's tune remains infectious as hell, lifted on the wings of her backing singers for something that should have graced a far better movie. Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, for example.

    Back down to earth with a bump, or a lozenge, is Marillion's dirge, yet more complaining about romantic drudgery. That said, Fish is highly amusing here (why didn't he just mime? Nobody would have known) and demonstrates what a splendid gent he is.

    Breakers, and Sir Cliff flinging a flaming ball at some little girls would constitute a health hazard these days. I recall a friend telling me at school in amazed tones, "He's singing about the world!" i.e. not about a lady. Anyone go to see Time, then?

    Mai Tai, still like this but not much more to say about it. Mick and Dave (as opposed to Chas and Dave?) still raking in the cash for charity, but I wasn't interested in hearing it this time.

    The 'nanas to finish, with a tune that's badly in need of a hook. Read and Wright not exactly a dream team, Wright especially uncomfortable. They should have swapped glasses or something.

    1. Regarding the credit card query, Bad Manners missed TOTP in 1983 with their top 49 smash "That'll Do Nicely", which nicked its title from an American Express ad.

      If only a particular prog rock band who were on the early re-runs had taken sponsorship and renamed themselves Barclaycard James Harvest!

    2. maybe an aspiring crooner could have renamed himself "nat west"? sorry!

    3. As I understand it, BJH actually did name themselves after Barclays Bank- they just chose the first words that came into their heads and Barclays happened to be one of them! They dropped the s, of course...

  5. Shakey Shakerson4 May 2018 at 03:10

    It's Read and Wrong in the presenters' shoes this evening. Mike in an ill-advised short-sleeve jacket (was that even a thing?) and still playing the look-at-me-aren't-I-cool card whilst Steve is less manic than in previous editions, but still scared of them there fancy camera things.

    This week's opener is Knock On Wood and its an awful piece of HiNRG disco. Very irritating and justifiably gets the FFF.

    Huey Lewie & The Newie live on the Montreaux stage but with Huey miming. The only reason this song still resonates with me is because of the BTTF film. Otherwise its a typically bland slice of American AOR.

    Maria Vidal performs like a Poundland Madonna with a song that has no personality whatsoever. FFF.

    Marillion. Comically inept aping of Dylan's iconic lyric-on-pages video. A good idea - poorly executed. The song is decent enough, although the nursery rhyme chorus lets it down.

    Breakers. Health & Safety alert as an actual honest-to-god flaming ball is thrown into a circle of innocent lickle kids. Can you imagine the letters to the Daily Mail if that happened to day? Typical Cliff song.

    Majure. The song is okay, if annoyingly ungramatical ( should it not be 'If I were'?) but that dancing is horrendous.

    RedBox. One of those annoying earworms, that we don't get to hear too often these days. Thankfully. The Signer in the bottom corner was unfortunately positioned as at one point he is signing right in the middle of a Red Box crotch.

    Mai Tai. A better looking, vocally superior version of Sister Sledge, but the song aint a patch on history.

    The godawful Bowie/Jagger abomination still atop. FFF.

    The Nanas play us out with ......something or other. FFF.

    I didn't time it, but I think it only took me around ten minutes to watch that edition - and most of that was spent looking for something to write about. I can go no higher than 2 for the music,making it one of the worst editions for many a week.

    Read and Wrong did nothing spectacularly awful, but there were a couple of mistakes and glitches and their fashion sense is appalling - even for 1985. 5.

    1. what's with the triple F shakey? is FF not fast enough for you?

    2. Maybe this week it stands for, erm, fornicating fast forward!

    3. Shakey Shakerson4 May 2018 at 07:15

      Its the dreaded Fast Forward Finger.

    4. I thought that Mai Tai were three potential Amii Stewart impersonators, but thankfully Amii was there to kick off proceedings on the show this week, in case anyone was taken in by the Mai Tai performance.

    5. At the end of 1985, I compiled a list of my favourite 100 tracks of the year. Then I decided to put them all on cassette tapes (in reverse order of course). Using 5 tapes, I found that I had room for one more track. So I decided to add 'Body And Soul' as number 101.

  6. amii stewart: ditching the xena warrior princess look when this was a hit first time around in favour of a dynasty cocktail outfit is the only obvious change i can spot. why did old 70's disco stuff like this get re-hashed for the 80's? in her case, maybe it was because she thought jaki graham was stealing her thunder in the "silly spellings of forenames" department? unlike this, "round and around" is still compulsive listening for me by the way

    huey lewis: out of the three hits of this name in this year, i suppose i would grudgingly take this pub-rock-meets-AOR-snoozefest as my pick. were a gun held to my head, that is. did huey really need five guys in his backing band?

    maria vidal: the name vaguely rang a bell, but that was about it for me. about a minute's listen was enough for me to dump into the "laura branigan" bland female synth pop fodder folder - hopefully never to be opened again

    marilion: fish shows what a dick he is (ho ho) with his schoolboy jape of displaying his lyrics on nobo sheets due to laryngitis, when he only had to mime anyway. this is almost AOR as opposed to prog that they were supposedly known for, and instantly forgettable as a result. but talking of nobo sheets, does anyone else remember when brighton and hove albion fc were sponsored by that firm around this time? however in the team photo, for soon-to-be superstar dean saunders it was more a case of "nobout"!

    bananarama: i think they had hooked up with stock aitken and waterman around this time (this certainly sounds like it). i remember reading an amusing interview with pete waterman long after their collaboration was over and SAW were (in) famous, where he slagged them off for "being too meddling, and wanting to have a say in how the record sounded"!

    1. I remember the Brighton &HA "Nobo" shirts! For a while The Seagulls also wore striped shorts (oh dear) and they had a particularly nasty set of change shirts (red stripes which looked like they were done using a child's paintbrush which had run out near the end) for a Wembley play-off final. It also reminds me of when my local non-League rivals Staines Town were sponsored by a computer firm and had "Wang" on their chests!

    2. Oxford United famously also had 'Wang' as sponsors in their most successful period at around the time these shows we're reviewing were going out!

      wilby - Bananarama's tune was written by Jolley & Swain, responsible for many of their earler - and better - hits. It was down the dumper far like this one that sent them to SAW!

  7. has anyone else noticed the reported death of dead or alive's drummer steve coy? it ssems if you were in that band and had long hair, then you wouldn't make it past your mid-50's. i am currently in my mid-50s and have long hair, so it's a bloody good job i wasn't a member!

    1. Lucky you! I'm 56 and I've got a dreaded Booby Charlton style double crown Shredded Wheat bridge atop my head!

    2. Bobby Charlton!!! Bugger - should've chekked my tiping befor I hit sent!

    3. ... a bit like the keyboard player in dead or alive then arthur? but given the choice over being dead with lots of hair or alive with none, then of course the latter is the better option!

  8. ...




    Oh sorry , did I miss my cue. .
    Yes you did Wrighty...

    Knock on wood kicks us off in some style tonight. A slightly different version from the record I think. Love this version of the song. Proper disco classic. Should have been a number one..

    Back to Montreaux. They really got their monies worth out of this one didn't they.
    Huge hit here for Huey and the news. A big playground favourite of the time and we all went to see Back To The Future. One of the films and songs that defines a whole generation of kids...

    Maria Vidal, one hit wonder?
    Another disco inspired tune and another track I'm very fond of from my first month at senior school.
    Not sure about the yellow and purple clash though.

    Marillion with his non cooperative flip chart. Quite a good GAG actually.
    Song is ok. Never been much of a Marillion fan but now we know where the annoying "dilly dilly" comes from.
    Guitar solo 😀😀😀

    Breakers time:
    Cliff back again but going down the cheese route this
    I love Red Box. This is a great record. No idea who they are but I remember the sign language from the video.
    Midge with his most successful solo hit. Liked this too.

    Mai Tai back for more, I'm still singing along..

    Stevie Wonder has lept up a bit. Surprised we haven't seen this in full.
    First hit for Baltimora. Bit optimistic Steve...
    Go Bonnie. Number 2 already. ..

    Still dancing in the street deservedly at the top.
    This video is so much fun. Bet they had a blast..

    The bananas play us out. All round a good show..

    1. In the coming weeks, we will be seeing far more of Red Box as their single ascends the charts.

      Unlike most on here, this edition of TOTP ranks as one of my favourites of the year so far. I'm obviously a sucker for pap.

    2. i have a chum in north london who is a semi-pro musician with his own recording studio, and a while back he was telling me he was collaborating on something with a guy who once had a hit as red box. and that despite not sustaining a chart career, as a result of that he had got a foot in the door of the music industry and had since been very active as a full-time practitioner accordingly. so further proof (if needed) that it's far better to be a has-been than a never-was!

  9. Am I correct in saying that there is no TOTP on BBC4 this week at all, rendering this coming Thursday and Friday as a total wipeout for the show? If so, does anyone know when the next show goes out?

    1. Yes, there are no shows this week - it looks as if the next one will be shown on Friday 18 May.

    2. Good Lord, that is two whole weeks without any TOTP to reminisce on. See you all in couple of weeks time

    3. Unless we get another early 70's 'blast from the past'. They're good, them!

  10. Amii Stewart - She certainly seems pleased to be there, good to see her joining in with the demented instrumental break too. It seems like only yesterday that we were watching the shows that featured the original version. Nostalgia for nostalgia, hmmm...

    Huey Lewis - HOUSEWIFE SONG !

    Maria Vidal - I find her outfit (especially the gloves) more alarming than the song, which is perfectly fine pop fluff that doesn't seem to be getting much love here.

    Marillion - Quite a famous performance of a song which isn't as good as Kayleigh.

    Breakers - Surprised, though not disappointed, that we don't see Cliff again. Even more disappointed that in their one week at No.40, we don't see the rather good Blancmange song.

    The rest we've already seen so a middling show with poor presenters. Mind you, only Peel and Long are great in this era, with Gary Davies head and shoulders above the rest. Hindsight is being very kind to him.

  11. Finally got round to watching this. The stress of modern life getting in the way and all that, plus it's not exactly like we've got five shows to critique this week. Anyway...

    Nodding Dog’s best / least worst turn so far, and Ready’s dropped the dark shades look. Things might just be looking up.

    Nice “Woo hoo hoo” action by the audience preceding Amii Stewart’s vocals. A hipswivellingly good turn there.

    How many more weeks are we going to be subjected to clips from sodding Montreux? The News’ bassist trying to do a Peter Hook and failing miserably.

    Maria Vidal singing live, Steve? Why is she miming with no mic, then? More “Bodyform” than body rock if you ask me – and those gloves simply don’t match the outfit. Hark at me, all Gok Wan again!

    Marillion’s turn reminded me of an advert where a chap did a similar turn to The Skids’ “Into The Valley”...

    I agree the guitar solo pointer was excellent!

    Cliff with “Great Balls Of Fire”.

    F#ck me, that Red Box video was pretentious. I preferred Julian Clary’s ‘red box’ gaffe about Norman Lamont which ended his TV career.

    What an action packed video for Jim ‘Midge’ Ure! Don’t mind the song, though.

    Not Mai Tai again! Not the cream of the show but they’re milking this song for all it’s worth.

    The last two songs were as bad as Wrighty’s top.

    1. athur you've reminded me of not one but two "feminine hygiene" ads from the past (were they still considered too sensitive to show on the telly in 1985?): the one where some women are playing football on a beach with some stadium rock-type musical soundtrack (female singer shrieking "wohhh bodyform, bodyform for you!". plus claire rayner and her "wings"!

    2. Claire Rayner and her Wings sounds like a dodgy Paul McCartney tribute act!