Saturday, 9 June 2018

Lost Top of the Pops

This edition of Top of the Pops from November 14th 1985 will not be shown on BBC4 because of the contract dispute with Mike Smith. So a huge thanks goes once more to Neil B for making it available here at WeTransfer.

Top of the Pops to Nowhere

14/11/85  (Gary Davies & Mike Smith)

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – “Lost Weekend” (24) 
Peaked at number 17.

Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin – “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves” (10) (video)
Went up one more place.

King – “The Taste Of Your Tears” (11)
At its peak.

Talking Heads – “Road To Nowhere” (12) (video)
Peaked at number 6.

Madness – “Uncle Sam” (25) (breaker)
Peaked at number 21.

Dire Straits – “Brothers In Arms” (22) (breaker)
This third single from the number one album of the same name peaked at number 16.

Queen – “One Vision” (9) (breaker)
Went up two more places.

The Top Ten:
Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin – “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves” (10) (video clip)
Queen – “One Vision” (9) (video clip)
Far Corporation – “Stairway To Heaven” (8) (Rockpop Music Hall clip)
Colonel Abrams - "Trapped" (7) (video clip)
Level 42 - "Something About You" (6) (video clip)
UB40 - "Don't Break My Heart" (5) (video clip)
Elton John - "Nikita" (4) (video clip)
A-ha - "Take On Me" (3) (video clip)
Jennifer Rush - "The Power Of Love" (2) (video clip)

Feargal Sharkey – “A Good Heart” (1)
First of two weeks at number one.

Bryan Adams & Tina Turner – “It’s Only Love” (31) (audience dancing/credits)
Went up two more places.

Next up is November 21st.


  1. Much better edition this week, with some good videos especially.

    Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin - the all encompassing theme here is about women coming out of the kitchen, and doing things for themselves. Well OK, we are still hearing it now in 2018, every day on the news, and that they should be on the executive boards, equal pay, yes you name it. Yesterday the French Open women final was won with a prize money of $2Million for two weeks work, and they are still complaining.

    Back to the music, and I think that George Michael took inspiration from this video with Aretha Franklin, in that before you know it, he had his own duet with her, in a similar type of video a couple of years later.

    Talking Heads - now that is more like it, and the highlight of the show for me. It was their first Top 40 single in Britain for nearly 5 years since early 1981 with One In A Lifetime.

    Suffice to say, I think this new video for Road To Nowhere bears an uncanny resemblance to Once In A lifetime, and while there were a couple of releases in 1984 between these two songs, they did not scale any higher than No.50, and so this was in effect the follow up to Once In A Lifetime for the purposes of the record-buying public.

    1. I don't believe every working woman has the chance to win $2 million at the French Open, Dory.

    2. tennis is almost certainly the only professional sport where women are actually rewarded better financially than men, as although both genders now get equal amounts of prize-winning money they have to work a lot less in terms of time (in that they only have to play a maximum of three sets, whereas that is a minimum requirement for men) and usually have to put in a lot less effort as well (even the likes of roger federer can come up against a tricky opponent that can stretch them in the early rounds, whereas due to a dearth of talent at the lower levels a top female player like serena williams can routinely dispatch the opposition in the first three or four rounds in less than an hour and in two easily-won sets)

      before anyone starts debating the subject, i'd just like to point out that the above is based on statistics and logic rather than opinion or belief!

    3. It's proportional, innit? No matter those Hollywood movies depicting 5'5" ladies beating up 6'5" brutes, men are on average stronger than women, so have the stamina to last five sets (in theory). Take that into consideration and its more or less equal. Women's tennis is a lot more demanding than, say, women's cricket or football.

      Also, there's as much talent in the women's game as the men's, it's just that these days the women don't seem to be as consistent over a long career as was the case in the past, and is the case with Serena (and Venus). But you still get plenty of three-setters in at all stages of a women's tournament. I know, I've watched a fair few.

    4. thx i have to admit that i haven't watched tennis of any kind for several years now. but i remember in their younger days that roger federer was being taken to at least four sets at times in earlier rounds (some with tie-breakers too), whilst the typical williams sisters' scorecard prior to the quarter finals (if not later than that) would read something like "6-1 6-2" - a situation simuilar to joe louis being fed lightweight opponents that were dubbed "bum of the month" ha ha. i would also suggest that these days women are far fitter and stronger compared to men than they used to be, and as such would physically be quite capable of going five sets in the unlikely event they would need to!

    5. Remember in the slams there's no tiebreaker in the last set, so the women can play the equivalent of another full set in an attempt to win. Doesn't happen every time, but it does happen. And the Williams sisters are by no means invincible - Sabine Lisicki pulled off a great victory against Serena one year (and, er then proceeded to cry her way through the final with nerves. Ah, well).

      I don't think we want to see women collapsing with exhaustion anyway, tennis is tougher now than it's ever been. Look at the old clips of 70s ladies' matches and it's almost genteel!

    6. i was going to say (merely to make a point of how much bigger, fitter and stronger female tennis players are these days, as are women in general) that if i got into a punch-up with the amazon that is serena williams, then i'd probably come out second-best. but perhaps some might perceive that as a backhanded (ho ho) chauvinistic comment?

    7. ...she'd certainly wallop me 6-1 6-2 at tennis, if not more so!

    8. i did actually see a pic of serena in action quite recently, wearing a black lycra body suit... which made her look a hell of a lot more like catwoman than a tennis player! teddy tinling must be spinning in his grave...

    9. Apparently Serena's idea was to look like a superhero like Black Panther (or superheroine, if you're being pedantic).

  2. Probably Lloyd Cole and the Commotions' best single for me, it motors along melodically with evidently more instruments than they had the opportunity to represent in the studio (unless we were supposed to believe that accordion sounded like a piano?). Lloyd does look a little lost without a guitar.

    Eurythmics and Aretha, a bit strident but not a bad tune with a positive message of empowerment. The library of clips was raided for the video - but why the clips of A Kind of Loving? That bit is one of the most awkward sex scenes ever!

    King back, obviously very available, only sans tambourine this time. Paul tries out the flamenco moves nevertheless.

    Great video for a great song from Talking Heads, probably heard this enough now but I loved it at the time. TOTP cuts the start and end off here. Like the way you can choose to watch the action in the main screen or the little David Byrne in the bottom right hand corner.

    Don't think we see Madness's takedown of Ronald Reagan in full, but I did like this back then, even if their fans were deserting them. The Brothers in Arms video, very atmospheric, but everyone pointed out they were ripping off A-ha which may have harmed its chances. Queen wanting their fried chicken ends the Breakers section, presumably this was on again?

    Hey, don't have a problem with Feargal making it to the top slot at all, good song and well presented. One thing, though: what's the saxophone player doing there? I don't hear him on the record. Or was he a random audience member gatecrashing the stage?

    Bryan and Tina to end on with a lesser hit for both. It's no Mel C and Bryan, but it's muscular enough I suppose.

  3. Thanks again Neil B for letting us see Smithy and Gary even if for me this is not such an enjoyable edition.

    Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Lost Weekend – Nope, lost on me. Doesn’t ring any bells. Sounds jolly enough.

    Eurythmics and Aretha – Sisters are doing for themselves – What are they trying to say? Pass.

    King – The taste of your tears – They sure do like King and co. on ToTP. Second appearance and not even in the top10. Simple Minds ‘Alive and Kicking’…Madonna and ‘Gambler’….Billy Joel ‘An Innocent Man’…ah it’s been said before. I do like this track though.

    Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere – As noted previously, one of those Ok songs for me with a weird video, nothing more. Vaguely reminds me of the ‘Sledgehammer’ video.

    Breakers – Madness – is this meant to be pro Uncle Sam or tongue in cheek? I suspect the latter. Not one of their best. Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms – Sheer bliss. The lilting melody, Knopfler’s soothing guitar. Who cares if the video rips off A-Ha? This is one of the sweetest of melodies ever recorded. A treat to hear live and a treat to hear anytime. One of the first CD singles I believe. Queen – One Vision – a return to form after Live Aid’s kickstart. A stomping concert opener to the last ever Queen tour (Paul Rogers and Adam Lambert excepted).

    Top10 – Looking at the hilarious Level 42 excerpt where the guy keeps driving off before the girl can get into the car, is she saying ‘F*** off’ the second time he does it? Jennifer Rush off the top spot after five weeks of showing studio appearances gets the original video and mix of the song shown here as a clip.

    Feargal Sharkey – A good Heart – Great no1. The whole band seem to enjoy being at the top spot and it does sound great with that bit a two thirds of the way through where a lot of the instruments drop off for the chorus and then start up again.

    Bryan Adams / Tina Turner – It’s only love danceout – Really? Quite awful.

    Warning: In at no60 for the first time ever in the UK charts is one of my all-time least favourite artists. In a few weeks’ time she’ll be no1. Oh dear.

    1. Cherie Lunghi was playing the girlfriend in the Level 42 video, I noticed.

    2. On the issue of certain acts getting more than one full play while others are ignored, I suspect there was a requirement at the time for there to be at least a couple of studio performances each week, which would obviously have played into the hands of those, like King, who were always available...

    3. Shades of Showaddywady...

    4. Worn in that combo by Malcolm "The Duke" Allured!

    5. john i mentioned cheri lunghi the first time level 42 appeared doing "something about you" (which led to a rant about her fantasy role as "the manageress" still not happening in the sport of football for real 30 years on). interesting that drummer phil gould gets to play her bf rather than singer mark king - they were never going to give duran duran sleepness nights in the pretty boy department, but as i suspect he got the video role as his boyish looks were less likely to make people think "is she really going out with him" than if it were the craggy-faced king?

    6. Sorry Wilberforce, there have been so many shows posted lately that I forgot about that thread. I haven't seen the video in full, but apparently Cherie also plays the girlfriends of Mike Lindup and Boon Gould - still not Mark King, though!

    7. mark may have been the driving force and probably the most-talented musician of the band (and is my all-time favourite bass player - there was actually a lot more to his playing than just his slapping technique). but he was also the ugliest ha ha!

  4. Smitty was in one of his more annoying moods here, and his Wrighty-like inability to keep still when his co-host is talking is beginning to seriously get up my nose. Gazza was solid enough, and not quite as teak-tanned as when we last saw him.

    The show gets off to an excellent start with a first-rate slice of jangly guitar pop from Lloyd Cole & Co, a refreshing change from a lot of the more grandiose, everything-but-the-kitchen sink productions that were in vogue at the time. I can't remember if I said this before, but there is a definite passing resemblance between Lloyd and tax-avoiding comedian Jimmy Carr. The irony of Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves is that they weren't, considering that Dave Stewart co-wrote the song and produced it. He is kept away from Annie and Aretha in the video though, holed up in his own room to perform some silly guitar histrionics, while the ladies play to their adoring all-female crowd. Aretha was actually the second choice to be Annie's duet partner, but Tina Turner was not available and this song would give Aretha her first Top 10 hit in the UK since 1968, doubtless planting the idea in her mind that further collaborations with hot current acts would not be a bad idea. The song itself is not exactly subtle, but does have the anthemic quality that lodges it in your brain. I wonder if Mrs Thatcher was denied an appearance among the female politicians featured in the video on political grounds?

    King return to the studio, but at least we are spared Paul's tambourine antics this time, and his performance is rather more restrained, with the miming of the lyrics kept to a minimum. I never liked the Talking Heads video much at the time, as I found the shots of David Byrne running on the spot in the corner very irritating, and still do now. However, it is undeniably inventive and I agree with sct that some of the effects featured do prefigure the following year's Sledgehammer promo. One of their better songs too, with a jolly, driving tune rather at odds with the downbeat title.

    More of Madness to come presently, but there will be no full plays for either Dire Straits or, more surprisingly, Queen. That is a shame in the former case as this is one of their finest moments, sad, poignant and moving, even if it is a bit difficult to hear what Knopfler is singing in places; the video may rip off A-ha, but its moody visuals match the song well. One Vision, released in the wake of Queen's triumph at Live Aid, is just typical empty bombast from them and does nothing for me whatsoever. I do quite like the brief Bohemian Rhapsody tribute in the video, though.

    Feargal hits the top, and he and his band are in genial mood as they give another studio performance, the annoying sax player running through the same moves as before. Fun to watch the two drummers trying to synchronise their moves, but did this song really need both of them? After Gazza reveals his plan to starve himself for charidee for 24 hours, Tina and Bryan play us out - perhaps Tina had already said "yes" to Bryan before the Eurythmics approached her. I remember my parents liked this one, and had the live performance that they did of it on the Private Dancer tour on VHS. It's OK, but pretty standard rock ballad fare - amusingly it looked as if the blonde woman at the front of the studio crowd got taken by surprise that the camera was on her when the song started playing, and began dancing as if her life depended on it once she noticed...

    1. i'm not surprised to hear that tina turner was the original choice for the annie lennox duet, as tina had recently performed a live set on "the tube" and annie was spotted in the audience cheering her on!

    2. For a split second I thought Gary said he and the other celebs were participating in a twenty-four hour fart.

  5. There is a YT clip of the playout which features more of it than we get to see on Neil B's download:

  6. lloyd cole: after the rubbish that was "brand new friend" mr cole was lost to me for far more than a weekend. then several years later (and not for the first time) annie nightingale played something i found myself liking, and it turned out to be a tune called "wanna take you down" from his first solo album

    eurythmics/aretha: anything that involves the queen of scream has me running for the hills (and i was doing a lot of that at this point, thanks to everyone wanting a piece of her as some kind of "we're not worthy" soul legend), but regardless of what i think, surely this should have been credited to annie lennox solo rather than her group?

    talking heads: "remain in light" was and remains for me one of the best albums of the early 80's, but sadly after that they never reached those peaks again no matter how hard they tried. and this aptly-named track is typical in that respect. david byrne was always interesting regardless though - i think it was around this time that he made a personal appearance on "the tube" wearing a ridiculously outsized suit. when asked why it was so big, byrne replied totally straight-faced "because it makes my head look small"

    bryan adams: i couldn't remember this and was going to give it a listen on yt, when i saw it featured aretha's rival for the title "queen of scream" tina turner so i never bothered. but i'm sure i've missed nothing anyway

    1. Byrne wore the giant suit in the classic concert movie Stop Making Sense. I saw an interview where he said he liked the idea of a suit taking over its wearer, but I suppose the answer on The Tube was a shade less pretentious.

    2. it was certainly amusing (the word i should have used to describe his response was of course "deadpan")

    3. I think you would both like this clip, where David Byrne explains the rationale for the big overblown suit made for the movie Stop Making Sense, by a hilarious interview of himself:

  7. Thanks again to Neil B, who should really be receiving Shitty’s repeat fees!

    As mentioned before, it’s the Scottish Jimmy Carr with a great tune and not such memorable lyrics. Why not just give that accordionist a keyboardist? He would at least be able to mime playing it!

    Annie and Arethra, with Annie about to undo all that sister solidarity by yelping that it’s all right her baby’s coming back in the next single.

    I’ve grown to love that King song. I liked the lapels being opened for the line “look inside” and at least the keyboard player didn’t grin inanely during his solo unlike last time.

    That David Byrne was always slightly off the beaten track, wasn’t he? I loved the “Chris and Tina’s life in 20 seconds” part of the video.

    Madness attempting to partly recreate their nutty boy sound but with a more complex and less catchy tune. Hmmm.

    Brothers in Armzzzzz, followed by Queen’s fascinating all-action video.

    Was that backdrop in the UB40 video meant to be reversed? You could tell by the back to front sign lettering.

    Boooo! Feargal’s alluring police cop backing singer’s covered up.

    And we finish with a song which doesn’t sound one iota like the sort of tune you play as the TOTP outro. It makes me wonder – hang on, that’s a different song in the chart.

    1. In the UB40 video, Ali is performing in front of a wobbly mirror for "effect".

    2. The Commotion are Scottish, but Mr Cole actually hails from Derbyshire...

  8. I see that one of the great guitarists, Fleetwood Mac's Danny Kirwan, died a few days ago. Like his mentor, Peter Green, his career was derailed by mental illness, but he played a crucial part in the creation of the haunting, emotional sound that characterised the band's early years.

    1. unlike peter green (nor third guitarist of the mk 1 line up jeremy spencer, who fell into the clutches of a religious cult) he never found his way back again even to a partial degree, and very sadly was rumoured to be homeless for at least part of the rest of his life post-mac. by chance i came across a couple of very pleasant tunes from a solo album called "second chapter" a while back - although apparently even by that point he was pretty gone and no longer able to play a guitar efficiently:

    2. Apparently it was a very bad trip while on tour in Germany that led to the mental health problems suffered by both Green and Kirwan - you do have to wonder how much more great music they could have produced if that hadn't happened. It is very sad that Kirwan never managed to dig himself out of the hole he fell into, and we can only hope that he found some measure of happiness in his later years.

    3. i remember reading a story about peter green, in that at the height of his drug-fuelled and debauched rock god period he was hanging out somewhere and some guy present noticed that he had a piece of cheese stuck in his hair. and that the piece of cheese was still there several days later!

  9. Not missing much on this show really, apart from...

    Lloyd Cole - A great pop song, probably their best known and should have been a bigger hit really.

    Eurythmics / Aretha - 1,2,3.....HOUSEWIFE SONG! And therefore dreadful.

    Not sure why we get King again when there are more deserving songs lower down that haven't been featured at all.

    Talking Heads - I used to like this, until I had to play it weekly on the radio and later saw the video on MTV about 1000 times. Now I don't like it very much.

    Breakers - We get to see Madness, I gather. Good, because it's the best tune here. the Dire Straits song I find inexplicably popular as to me it's just tedious mumbling over guitar noodling and the Queen song isn't bad but clearly shouldn't be here, especially when you're going to feature it in the Top 10 rundown about 30 seconds later!

    Adams / Turner - Another one that used to be overplayed on the radio despite not being a very big hit so I'll pass, thanks!

  10. I wasn't sure where to post this, but I was wanting to download the 3/10/85 restoration from drykid's site but it said the file has been deleted. I'm hoping he/she will see this and re-upload it

    1. to quote the line from the "life of brian" stoning scene (in jest of course): "...are there any WOMEN here today?"

    2. Well, there won't be if you keep scaring them away.

    3. it was meant as a wry observation that going by the comments left, this blog has seemingly attracted very little interest from our female peers ever since it started... even though they probably bought as much of what has been featured on these shows as us guys did!

      not for the first time, i'm going to say that if there are any women who read this blog (if not make actually make contributions), then it would be nice if they could let us know so one doesn't make the assumption it's the virtual equivalent of the MCC members club!

    4. .. so clarebell, assuming you are female then good for you for coming out of the shadows - maybe you could review the show you are enquiring about here, if and when you've watched it?

    5. It's OK, I was just jestin'. There's probably more women reading this than you think, they just don't advertise the fact.