Friday, 5 October 2018

Top of the Pops the Years

Hold on to your hats! It's time for the 5th June 1986 edition of Top of the Pops!

Holding back the mic

05/06/86 (Gary Davies & Simon Bates)

Cashflow – “Mine All Mine” (15)
In the studio to get the show underway but the song went up no higher.

Genesis – “Invisible Touch” (16) (video)
The title song from their huge number one album, but it only went up one more place.

Simply Red – “Holding Back The Years” (2)
A terrific totally live performance of our blog title in the studio, complete with the audience joining in with the chorus, but number 2 was its peak.

Miami Sound Machine – “Bad Boy” (21) (breaker)
Peaked at number 16.

Falco – “Vienna Calling” (19) (breaker)
Peaked at number 10.

Pet Shop Boys – “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)” (17)
This third single from their debut album, Please, made it to number 11.

Nu Shooz – “I Can’t Wait” (10) (video)
On its way to number 2.

Doctor & The Medics – “Spirit In The Sky” (1)
A second studio performance and their first of three weeks at number one.

Jaki Graham – “Set Me Free” (9) (video/audience dancing/credits)
Went up two more places.

June 11th is next, but it's a Mike Smith edition.


  1. Gazza is wearing a trademark "woo" jumper and joshing with an alarmingly jovial Master Bates this week; even Gazza looked discomfited when Bates decided to lay his head on his shoulder. Overall, however, both hosts are on good form.

    Cashflow is a good name for an 80s band, and their charismatic singer tries to sell this tune for all its worth, but while serviceable it isn't memorable. Genesis return, and the impact of Phil's stratospheric solo success is evident in the very mainstream pop sound of this, the title track of their biggest-selling album. Even so, it is still a very accomplished, catchy track, with more musical depth than you tend to get with Phil's solo stuff. While it only got to 15 here, it topped the charts in the States, and was ironically knocked off number 1 there by Sledgehammer! The video is quite annoying, Phil's drumsticks-as-mic gag rapidly getting tired and filling me with a desire to shove them up his backside...

    This was an excellent live rendition of Holding Back the Years, with Mick in fine voice, though I couldn't make out whether the audience were singing on the chorus, or just the band. More to come from the breakers, so on to PSB with an excellent song that proved they had staying power. An anthem for Thatcherism's high noon, with the Big Bang just around the corner, I love the key changes and busy arrangement on this. Fun performance too, thanks to Neil's curious hat-and-white gloves combo and Chris, looking like a juvenile delinquent, furiously bashing those electronic drums.

    That Nu Shooz video is pretty weird, though I liked the dog in shades; the intro does sound a bit like a dog barking, which perhaps explains its presence in the promo. Quite a catchy song, I suppose, although it feels a little bit more low-key than it really should. Given the recent discussion we had about musical misspellings, I wonder what the Beeb made of the band title? This was actually Doctor and the Medics' third studio appearance, confirming that they were always available. The girls celebrate reaching number 1 by going blonde, giving them a slight air of Stevie Nicks and probably confirming that the hair we saw them with in the last show wasn't real either. Jaki Graham on video to finish, once again hobbling around in a tight skirt.

    1. It seems the playout video has now ditched the TOTP studio audience in the background, so I think this show was the end of an era of studio dancing on the playout track, having run a long 22 years since 1964 playing out the show.

    2. Yes, I noticed that the dancing audience were completely dropped at the end this week, though according to Popscene that didn't happen until the end of June, so it will be interesting to see if they pop up again on the next show. TOTP had not always used dancing to end the show in its first 22 years; as we saw in the first few years of these repeats, during the late 70s the credits normally rolled over fancy camera effects.

    3. Yes indeed, that was around 1977/1978 with the fancy camera effects instead of the studio audience. I quite liked that era too.

  2. It took a while to get into this show, and not much cop in the first half, but it got better after Simply Red, and once the Breakers were on.

    Miami Sound Machine - I just love the return of Miami Sound Machine after a long hiatus since the iconic Dr Beat in 1984, and so two years off our screens and Gloria Estefan returns with a lovely summer dress showing lovely body, and looking for her bad boy. Zoweee!

    Pet Shop Boys - I remember this one well, and more notably the video, where it was clearly one of their early flops before West End Girls was released, so they seemed to re-release this one on the back of the success of West End Girls.

    Nu Shooz - Good lord, wasn't the lead singer lonely on that video? It's not often that a pop video has only one character it, and she looked like she needed a friend to join her across that table, but nevertheless, the tune has a lovable hook on it that seems to be growing on me since their first appearance on the show the previous week as a breaker and on their way to the dizzy heights of No.2. "I can't wait....."

    Dr & The Medics - never mind the wacky lead singer with the funny hairstyle, but it is the two girls with the very long hair as his backing girls that really took the spotlight in my opinion. Good Lord, will we seem them in the studio in the next couple of shows? I can't wait to see how they appear then, but in the last two shows they are gradually wearing less, and revealing more body. Woooo!

  3. Anyone got the 11th June edition? For one thing, I can't wait to see the return of Bucks Fizz after two years in the wilderness, Amazulu with their new video on the beach, and another peekaboo at the Robert Palmer video (with the sexy keyboardist for John G!)

    1. totp 11th June 1986 (this not Neil B. version) is here:

    2. Yes, many thanks Gia.

  4. cashflow: the bare-faced cheek of this lot - shamelessly ripping off the backing track for the fatback band's "i found lovin" that had been released a year or two earlier practically note for note, and simply replacing the melody with something far less memorable. of course this reprehensible practice became endemic once sampling technology became cheap enough for the talentless to use, but at least the original recordings usually got justly credited accordingly. however here they were actually trying to pass this off as all their own work. what makes it even more annoying is that larry blackmon of cameo fame/codpiece infamy was the prime mover behind it, and if he wasn't aware of the fatback track then i'm a dutchman!

    genesis: or to be more accurate, phil collins and a couple of other guys helping him out. the first of several bland singles from an album whose only saving grace in my opinion was the "domino" medley that reminded me of the excellent period in the mid-to-late 70's inbetween the gabriel-era indulgence and the collins-dominated lightweight pop of the 80's

    pet shop boys: presumably it's meant to be a satire on the "me me me" generation that was breaking out at this time (and still exists today - i call it "thatcher's legacy"), but i never much cared for this one either musically or lyrically. it wasn't until they started producing music for others to sing on that i first started taking interest in them (neil tennant's nasally vocals are somewhat of an acquired taste), and it was really only after i heard "being boring" a few years on that i got on board as a fan

    nu shooz: i wonder if this first got popular in holland as the sound is very similar to that of local dance act the limit? there's certainly no way i would have guessed they were american if i didn't know better. it's okay as dance fare i suppose, but it's a shame it didn't come out a year or two earlier as i suspect it would have been better off without the sampling and deadened snare crunch that was becoming the rage

  5. Okay, which came first, Mine All Mine by Cashflow or I Found Loving by The Fatback Band? Whoever it was I hope they got the lion's share of the royalties. Anyway, they were flinging themselves around the stage quite the thing here, having a lot more fun than presumably anyone watching at home, but not a bad way to open the show.

    Genesis suffering from "Everyone bought the album, so didn't bother so much with the single" syndrome (see also Dire Straits), and Invisible Touch was one of their poppier numbers. The lyrics are typical middle aged songwriter mooning over mystery lady nonsense that seems to afflict so many of them when they reach a certain age, and Phil's mugging for the camera is extremely hard to take, but it's not the worst thing they ever did. The shot of the snooker table makes it three episodes in a row that have featured the game.

    I can't imagine how annoying it must be to go to a gig and have the singer make the audience sing the chorus instead of doing it himself like he's been paid to do, but I thought it was a more recent phenomenon than 1986, maybe closer to Robbie Williams' Angels period. Obviously not. Mick curiously similar to Phil here, despite being at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

    We'll hear the Breakers again (jeez, did they have to use that bit of inappropriateness from the Miami Sound Machine vid? Of course they did), so on to PSB, with Neil continuing the snooker theme by dressing as a referee (probably). Finally a hit, the first try had a video where Neil sat in a hole and turned into a monster. Understandably, they changed that for the rerelease. One of their most zeitgeist-y tunes, storms along, great lyrics, should have been Top Ten.

    Nu Shooz, got a lot of play at the time but just couldn't make it to the top. An excellent bit of electropop all the same, though it's the TOTP performance that springs to mind, with Mrs Shooz resplendent in leopard print leggings (that's my memory, let's see if I'm right).

    The Doc and his glammed up coterie hit the number one, with more kicks packed into three minutes than an entire Frankie Vaughan concert. It's easy enough to listen to, so I don't begrudge what was a slightly lazy cover.

    Jaki to end on, still rockin' the rubber skirt and even attempting dance moves - foolhardy! Great tune, had forgotten there was a video (because it wasn't on YouTube when I looked).

  6. Another good show and finally a ‘proper’ no1. Our friend on his 80s No1s website is similarly scathing about the previous incumbent “I don't think 'The Chicken Song' is the worst number one of all time, but by god it's top five…”

    Cashflow – Mine all mine – I keep expecting that ‘Hey-ayyyy………yeah…I found lovin’, baby’ to kick in, but not so. Good dance song to get us under way. As noted previously, I have heard a segue version of the two songs.

    Genesis – Invisible Touch – My all-time favourite band (I saw Steve Hackett live at the Festival Hall the other night and he can still knock ‘em dead with his storming version of ‘Supper’s Ready’). This isn’t ‘Supper’s Ready’ but it is a sure fire single hit which went all the way to the top in the US but didn’t make the top 10 over here much to my surprise. Note to Wilberforce; the B Side is the wonderful ‘The Last Domino’ and to THX; this single came out before the album of the same name. On the 1992 ‘We can’t Dance’ tour, Phil changed the lyrics from “though she can mess up your life…” to “though she can f**k up your life” which I thought both childish and unnecessary. In his ‘Not dead yet’ Autobiography he says that the song was about his first wife Andrea. When Ray Wilson took over vocal duties in 1997/8 for the ‘Calling all Stations’ tour, the original lyrics returned only for Phil to revert back to the four letter version on the 2007 ‘Turn it on again’ tour.

    Simply Red – Holding back the years – I’m not a fan of SR by any stretch but I take my hat off to Mick and his chums for delivering a faultless live version of this song. Really enjoyed it.

    Breakers – Miami Sound Machine – Bad Boy – eeek! Don’t remind me of Doc-doc-doctor Beat. This is mildly less irritating but I do like the ‘Playcat’ magazine. Falco – Vienna Calling – irresistible wasn’t he? I guess the novelty wore off but he still sounds great here.

    Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (let’s make lot of money) – I was never sure if this was to be taken seriously but it does fit the times well and was the start of the PSB bandwagon.

    Nu Shooz – I can’t wait – Nope. I still don’t get the appeal. Just nothing special. US no3 as well (sigh!). I looked at the chart lower regions and sitting at no53 and going no higher is something that has aged a lot better than this; ‘All I need is a miracle’ by Mike and the Mechanics.

    Dr and the Medics – Spirit in the Sky – Our 80s No1s website commentary is not very kind to this song either but to me it’s great. Sisters Wendi and Colette treat us once again to their carefully choreographed routine wearing more skimpy outfits and the Doctor is bare midriff!

    Jaki Graham – Set me free – Quick FF

    1. So Invisible Touch (single) was off an album not out yet? Maybe it took us Brits a while to catch on? A friend of mine taped his copy of Invisible Touch for me (whether I wanted it or not!) and I listened to it a few times, but the track I really liked was the over the top instrumental that harked back to their prog roots - naturally, I never heard it on the radio!

      Yeah, I know, I know, home taping is killing music...

    2. Oh, and the best thing about Mike and the Mechanics' All I Need is a Miracle was the great Roy Kinnear in the video - it's a really charming combination.

    3. The OTT instrumental on the 'Invisible Touch' album was the closing track; 'The Brazilian'. This was actually played live on the 'Invisible Touch' tour and pretty dammed fine it sounded too. In fact the 'Record Mirror' reviewer at the time, Roger Morton, termed it "the one flash of Squonked out brilliance (on the album) with its clattering synth doodle which Phil doesn't sing on you know". The rest of the review harked on about things like Phil's "freeze dry whining" and how "good geezers musn't ditch their old mates" - a reference to Phil's huge solo success at the time.

      Across the pond, 'All I need is a Miracle' deservedly reached no5.

    4. Thankyou for letting me know that track was called The Brazilian! All these years I never knew what it was called, because the friend never copied out the track listing on the cassette sleeve. Just listened to it on YT and the memories flooded back.

      According to the comments there it was used in a Magnum episode - never really watched that show too often, so I wouldn't know.

      Anyway, thanks again!

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. Glad you enjoyed it THX. Hope you checked out the live version at (the old) Wembley Stadium. I was there for one of those glorious evenings.

    7. There was a live version of 'Invisible Touch' released in 1993 which did IIRC go Top 10 and definitely included Phil doing the potty mouthed version!

    8. Indeed it did Noax. I have just pulled my limited edition box copy of said single from the back of the cupboard and played it for the first time in probably 20 years.

      "A built in ability, to touch everything she sees" is one lyrical variation. The other is "and though she will f*** up your life" is the other. Yep, it's been kind of muffled out!

      One of the other tracks included on the single is co-incidentally a live version of 'The Brazilian'.

  7. i've done my own mix of cashflow ripping off the fatback band: in normal stereo, plus in separate channels:

  8. drykid, Missing bit can be found at

  9. Cashflow - Nope, heard it twice now and still can't remember a thing about it.

    Genesis - The video wears a bit thin after around a minute but I don't mind the song at all actually.

    Simply Red - Singing live is to be commended but the song is still very dull indeed.

    Breakers - I don't think the Miami Sound Machine video was that dodgy but it was certainly incredibly cheesy. Was there a reason why it was cat based?!

    PSB - Best thing on the show by miles. Lyrically it is of course to be taken tongue in cheek and Chris's performance here is probably the most animated he's ever been I should think.

    Nu Shooz - Great song. Utterly baffling video.

    Oh, here's the Doctor again turning up on TOTP now as often as he does at music festivals these days.

  10. One of the best shows for me over the last few weeks. Gaz showing once again he’s the king of correct chart rundown emphasis, and Slimes proving that he does have some spark and is some way off the attributes to reach the podium of crap hosts.

    Talking of crap, I wonder just how many had or hadn’t heard “I Found Loving” before buying this complete and utter rip-off? Absolutely dreadful.

    Not just Mike and Phil having solo hits, Slimes, but I guess you couldn’t really mention Peter Gabriel. I know where those drumsticks could go. Actually, you can buy dual purpose drumstick pencils from the Jazz FM gift shop. Niiiice!

    I can’t stand Mick Hucknall and always found his band dull but, boy, that was a wonderful live performance, except for Charlie being lazy on the choruses. The end-of-song band caption shouldn’t have been multi-coloured, it should have been simply red. See what I did there?

    NO, Slimes, Gazza’s already told us the last song’s chart positon, and it’ll be included in the later rundown. Doh!

    Talking of which, was that Freddie Mercury or the “Spitting Image” Lord Lucan puppet in that mugshot? A cheer from someone in the crowd as The Smiths go up!

    No idea about the cat influences in Gloria’s vid – maybe she should have been singing “Feline Groovy” instead. Very funny and rude pretend erection for the cat’s tail there!

    Oo great, more Teutonic rap which, for no reason at all, reminded me of minor hit “Der Kommissar” by After The Fire, which I hen researched and discovered was an English re-working of an earlier Falco single!

    The Shoppies had a number one over here too, Slimes. If only Chris has been this animated more often. Neil Tennant dressed as Holly Johnson and taking over keyboards, which felt strange, for an excellent approximation of what Cole Porter might have written had he been in a synth band.

    I’m sure this Nu Shooz track, the one with the bottle-hitting rhythm, wasn’t played on the show last time round. Wacky vid, crazy Americans!

    Oo! Doctor and the Medics with a band logo backdrop. They’ve made it! For the love of God, cover up, Clive! Shorn of their usual outro song jigging and mugging to the camera, the audience really lapped this up.

    No skirting round the issue with Jaki Graham again!

    1. Best not to look directly at his chest (Dr & The Medics). I found the shaved chest too much, so I made sure I concentrated on his foxy assistants with the very long hair (wigs), and their Laurel & Hardy dances routine (re Way Out West 1937) on 1:35 - 1:45 of this clip:

    2. i've done a bit of digging on the fatback/cashflow rip-off: "i found lovin" was originally released in 1983 and was written by the band's johnny flippin and michael walker. when "mine all mine" came out in 1986 it was originally credited to someone called kenny beck, but by the time it re-issued as an old gold 12" single in 1988 the fatback guys' names had been added as writers. so they obviously took some kind of legal action, and consequently reached a royalty-sharing agreement. but it would be interesting to know exactly how things were settled?

  11. Gary back again, turning into a regular gig for him. One of the better presenters though.

    Last week's worst breaker kicks off the show. Now I've heard the whole song it is a bit more familiar and better than I thought but still not a song that stands out or ill remember after the show.
    Good energy in the performance though. Not sure about the orange suit. Gonna have to read through the thread after and find out who the hell Cashflow were.

    Genesis. This is more like it. One of their finest songs. Not had a hit for a while so no money for the video. Probably the only day they could get them all in the same room/warehouse.

    LIVE. Simply Red back for more. Lovely song. Great vocal. Much as people love to hate Hucknall he could hold a tune.

    Gloria still with the machine.not one of their best but an ok tune and a cute little video.
    Falco is back. The lesser Falco record in every regard. Bye Falco.

    PSB. This is one of their best from the 80s. Very topical and Thatchers Britain. This remixed version is much better than the original Bobby O version that flopped in 85. Deserved to be a number one. Chris gets some energy into the performance as well. Nice tie Neil, Cut off at the bottom 80s style.

    Nu Shooz get a full video showing this week. Where did u put the fish for dinner love, in the coffee machine ? Ok.....
    Rrally no idea what this video is about..not sure Nu Shooz would know either if you asked them.

    Great number one from the Doc. Lost his shirt this week I see.
    Fab number one.

    Jaki video playout. Poor girl obviously only owns one skirt.
    Bless her.

    Great show. Best for many a week, happy.