Friday, 17 January 2020

Something's Gotten Hold Of My Top of the Pops

In a world that was small I once lived in a time when there was the 26th January 1989 edition of Top of the Pops!

Number one for me, and number one for you

26/01/89  (Gary Davies & Anthea Turner)

Then Jerico – “Big Area” (21)
A big sound to get us underway tonight with what became the band's biggest hit when it peaked at number 13.

Adeva – “Respect” (20)
Her first of nine top 40 hits and peaked at number 17.

Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock – “Get On The Dance Floor” (14)
Getting onto the studio floor but the song got no higher.

Mica Paris & Will Downing – “Where Is The Love?” (19)
Also in teh studio tonight but also got no higher.

Bobby Brown – “My Prerogative” (27) (breaker)
Peaked at number 6.

Level 42 – “Tracie” (28) (breaker)
Peaked at number 25.

Sheena Easton – “The Lover In Me” (34) (breaker)
Peaked at number 15.

Ten City – “That’s The Way Love Is” (17)
With their only top ten hit and it peaked at number 8.

Brother Beyond – “Be My Twin” (15)
Went up one more place.

Marc Almond & Gene Pitney – “Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart” (1) (rpt from 19/01/89)
First of four weeks at number one.

Milli Vanilli – “Baby Don’t Forget My Number” (16) (video/credits)
At its peak.

February 2nd is next.


  1. I really am going to have to start putting in earplugs before watching La Turner’s shows – she seemed bigger of both hair and gob than ever here. However, Gazza seemed to get on well enough with her and indeed he seemed more enthused than he sometimes has been of late, also bigging up the new format and trying his best to make it sound like an improvement. In fairness, the cutting isn't as brutal this week and the show feels as if it has a bit more room to breathe.

    We haven’t seen Then Jerico for a while, but here they are again with a reasonable upbeat number spoilt by Mark Shaw’s ridiculous Freddie Mercury-aping antics – sorry Mark, but you aren’t in that league! Gazza rather ungallantly tells us about a wardrobe malfunction recently suffered by Adeva, who clearly was taking no chances in this performance as she is well wrapped up. A very different spin on the song made famous by Aretha two decades previously, so much so that it almost sounds like a different track altogether. Intriguing, but not quite my cup of tea.

    Unfortunately we get more from Rob and E-Z Rock next, featuring the biggest medallion I think I have ever seen, even by rappers’ standards! Something altogether more tuneful follows as Mica and Will team up for another cover, this one virtually indistinguishable from the Roberta and Donny original. It’s all a bit too smooth and dinner party-like for me, but they are both in fine voice and have good chemistry in this performance. Level 42 is the breaker we won’t be seeing again, and in truth this sounds like quite a bland offering from them – couldn’t they have called it something a bit more romantic than “Tracie”?

    Ten City are in the studio with a decent dance track, but not one that stands out especially, which is perhaps why we get the outbreak of demented dancing at the end – lots of annoying cheering over this one too. Brother Beyond are looking as well scrubbed up as ever, Nathan especially, and as lightweight pop goes this is fine, though it would prove to be their last Top 20 entry. I wonder if the title was intended as some kind of dig at Bros? Mark and Gene deservedly make it to the top, and we finish with Milli Vanilli on video, once again tightly packed in below the waist and poignantly reminding us of a time not only when the public assumed that artists sang on their own records, but that Charles and Diana were still a happily married couple…

    1. I actually quite like Anthea Turner's voice. When loud in the TOTP studio, it does sound quite nice and feminine sounding. Didn't she get married to Peter Powell at around this time, as he must have liked her yelling on the show? Anyway, she seemed to cosy up very well to Gary Davies on this show, lucky man! Unlike you John, I'm not going to put earplugs before her shows, as I quite like it in her current volume!

    2. She married PP in 1990, not that it ended well of course - perhaps he was suffering from hearing loss when they wed..

  2. Anthea's yelling to be heard over the audience is a valid excuse (as seen on Story of...) but Richard Skinner managed a regular speaking tone and we could make him out fine. Hey ho.

    Then Jericho match the pretensions of their band name with their biggest hit, though Mark seems to think he's Roger Daltrey - all that was missing was using the mike as a lasso. He nearly hit Gary! Soon after they split after Mark was beaten up by his fellow bandmates. That's showbiz.

    Adeva, with the first of three no.17 hits, curiously. It never struck me this was a cover version of the old Aretha staple, and you know? I'm still not convinced, it really doesn't sound much like it, but it's not so bad, she certainly had the pipes.

    David Copperfield looks on in envy at Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, a bog standard rap effort of the day the energetic performance doesn't quite make up for. It was either The Jacksons or James Brown at this point, wasn't it?

    Mica and Will oversing their way through the old duet, the kind of thing you'd see on a night out to a pub that has a stage before they got a karaoke machine later on. Is Will just a little chap or is Mica quite tall?

    Vaguely recall Level 42's one, pretty undistinguished and they had patently lost their way with a catchy melody. If that's Tracie in the video, not sure what the fuss was about.

    Ten City with a performance of, er, intensity, almost comically so, with the vocal gymnastics and frenzied dancing overshadowing what is at heart a philosophical little thing. Has the feel of a bunch sensing their big break, but not quite capitalising on it.

    Ver Yond, look, just get over it, you'll never be as popular as Bros! SAW's resentment of the Goss Sisters' popularity was never more blatant, but this bland as you like item is only slightly memorable for Nathan's ridiculous dancing, again.

    The information that Gene Pitney recorded his part topless from the Story of... doc certainly puts a different spin on hearing this No.1, doesn't it? I suppose we should be glad he kept his trousers on, too.

    Then to end a very weird edit of the Milli Vanilli video, I wonder what was being omitted? Almost tempted to visit YouTube to find out. Looks like the boys were trying acting here. Well, when weren't they?

    1. ha ha thx you're paraphrasing the brilliantly-named ted nugent album "intensities in ten cities!

      also: this was the level 42 shark-jumping moment for me. apart from being musically underwhelming, this actually seemed to be a genuine lyrical tribute to the much-lampooned orange-skinned white stiletto-wearing essex girl that was around at the time

    2. Maybe Level 42 were paying tribute to the singer of The House That Jack Built?!

    3. You mean the The Jack That House Built.

    4. Oh, no I don't, The Jack That House Built was by Jack 'n' Chill, Paul Weller's mate Tracie did The House That Jack Built.

  3. I checked out the Milli Vanilli video and have no idea why they edited it. There's a racially insensitive wartime cartoon clipped in it, but that doesn't happen till the second half, not the first. They seemed to be cutting out the girl, weirdly.

  4. As I seem to be the first one to mention the Sheena Easton video clip, I must say that she looks absolutely stunning in her new raunchy look, clearly inspired by her part in the Prince video for You Got The Look.

    The hairstyle and minidress or whatever you call it on this video for the new single for 1989 is just gorgeous on her, and suits her so much that it is a pity it took this long since her 9 to 5 single in 1981 as the shy Scottish girl winning The Big Time contest for her singing alone, but now coupled with this new fresh sexy look for 1989, give me more Sheena singles and videos please!

    1. Ah, Dory, I hate to break this to you... Sheena Easton only made the top 40 once more, in a duet with Prince later in the year, for which we get just a breakers slot and end-of-show video.

    2. I've got to disagree with you there Dory. For me Sheena's defining moment was being the only artist ever to appear in the opening titles of a Bond film singing one of the best tunes; 'For your Eyes only'. It looks like she's as naked as the swimming figures that pan in and out of the title sequence and Sheena certainly looks stunning in this.

    3. Yes indeed, I do remember liking her singing of the 1981 Bond theme for her voice alone, but the new 1989 look in her Breakers video was just eye-poppingly good!

  5. Good Lord! What a rotten edition compared to the last one! Anthea is super irritating with her OTT style – take a look at her facial expressions when Gary is introducing Brother Beyond (why the hell were they so popular?).

    Then Jerico – Big Area – Actually this is one of only two songs I actually enjoyed. It’s not one I am particularly familiar with but it does pack a punch even if it does end abruptly.

    Adeva – Respect – Not a lot of respect for this. Give me a little respect from Erasure is more my cup of tea.

    Rob Base etc. – Get on the Dance Floor – Just fodder. Does this even get a mention anywhere these days?

    Mica Paris and Will Downing – Where is the love – Funny story how I first heard the ‘original’. My Mum used to buy all the budget ‘Hot Hits’ albums and this was on ‘Hot Hits 13’ which featured a model in the Olympic Stadium in Munich to coincide with the 1972 Olympics. I didn’t hear Roberta and Donny’s version for ages after as it only reached no29. So the ‘Hot Hit’s rendition was ‘my original’.

    Breakers – Bobby Brown – pass. Level 42 – A great guitar solo features on the 12” version of this .Not one of my favourite of theirs, however, but I do like the non-album track ‘Three Words’ that featured on the B Side. Sheena Easton – image change shows the output from her liaison with Prince.

    Ten City- That’s the way love is – Awful…

    Brother Beyond – Be my twin – Not sure of the appeal of BB.

    Marc Almond and Gene Pitney – Somethings gotten hold of my heart – I regard this as just rewards for Gene. He had no less than ten top ten hits in the 60s without reaching the top. Two were no2s – ‘I’m gonna be strong’ (brilliantly covered by Cyndi Lauper and Blue Angel (one of Gene’s other hits was titled ‘Blue Angel’ – I wonder if Cyndi named her band because they were covering Gene’s song?)) was denied by the Stones and ‘Little Red Rooster’ and then the Beatles with ‘I feel fine’. The lesser known ‘Nobody needs your love’ written by Randy Newman was denied by the Kinks with ‘Sunny Afternoon’. My favourite Gene single however is Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s ‘Looking thru the eyes of love’ (brilliantly covered by David Cassidy and the Partridge Family in 1972.

    Milli Vanilli – Don’t forget my number – Another early exit for me!

    1. You still hear Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock's next hit It Takes Two fairly often on the radio. But the one on this show? Nope!

    2. Where is the love was used in the Rodney & Cassandra wedding episode of OFAH I recall

  6. Hi Anonymous! I'm on again to ask if you've got the following original archive shows that BBC4 either cut bits out of or didn't show at all due to being presented by Savile or Smithy. They are 15/09/83, 24/11/83, 26/01/84, 8/03/84, 19/07/84 and 29/11/84. Cheers!

    1. brie only have one ep sorry

    2. Thanks for this one mate. One's better than none!

  7. Maybe my PC realised this was an Anthea edition – it stalled just before we got to the hosts at the start.

    A hot, sweaty and fast show (no, not “The Fast Show”) as Gaz describes it late on. So, we’ve lost Dickie and we’re about to wave goodbye to Readie, while we’re stuck with the eardrum hurting row of Anthea Turnoff for the future. Christ.

    Then Jerico with all noise and no substance, and a lead singer so up himself he got kicked off before the first round of eons back ‘oldies try to make it in the States’ show “Reborn In The USA” for being completely obnoxious. Who’d have thought, ay?

    No, Gary, you’re meant to climb the steps prior to the first song finishing. Watch how Dickie did it last week!

    No chance of knowing if Adeva’s bra broke in that bling Ena Sharples get-up. Oh, and hilarious stage name while we’re at it. A diva indeed. An of its time club stylee corned beef hash of an Aretha tune.

    It’s DJ E-Z Rock, not E-Z Beat, Turnoff! Talking of turning off, FF pronto.

    Mica and Will with “Where Is The Passion / Emotion / Feeling?”. How this beat the superior version by 10 places in the chart is just wrong.

    Whitney’s lovely ex next. Call centre mic, call centre quality row.

    Mark King’s waistcoat was the best part of Level 42’s offering by a country mile.

    Sheena Easton with “My Baby Takes The Shortest Skirt”. Image a pleasant surprise to me at least, tune completely anonymous.

    Turnoff shoehorns in an attempt at a clever rhyming couplet intro which doesn’t work before Ten City, with Mister City’s top probably inspiring the Happy Mondays track “Loose Fit”. Rare outing for a jazz hat on TOTP while I’m at it. Three Weetabix dervish dancing for this hit which was actually the B-side of the single. The acceptable face of house disco in my, erm, house.

    Brother Beyond’s Nathan impersonating that monolith of pop, Nick Kamen, while he and his hyperactive cohorts dirty my eardrums.

    Nice nose wipe on the sleeve early doors in the Milli Vanilli video. That extra touch of class. No chance of seeing the pawnbroker’s sign this time round with those dark trews, and no chance of outdoing the big hit with this faxed-in effort.

  8. Ooh Gary and Anthea Turn-off keep the energy flowing this week on our new fast paced pops (c)BBC1989

    Kicking off with the leather clad Then Jerico. “Big Area” making a big impact and it's a great tune. Lots of excitement on stage but be careful with that mic stand Mark, you'll have someone's eye out! Number 13 Angelo? This should have gone Top 5!

    Floella Benjamin wannabe Adeva showing us a little “Respect” in a clearly pre-filmed insert that should have cut away just a couple of seconds earlier me thinks. As for the track - solid gold.

    Now last week Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock played us out (briefly) with the underwhelming “Get On The Dance Floor” video. Whilst this has aged badly and is clearly of it's time, I must admit they give a fine performance in the studio and I was tapping my feet..fair play.

    SCREEEEECH....Crunching gear change into...

    Mica Paris & Will Downing. Great performance, beautiful song. “Where Is The Love?" No idea but I think the Black Eyed Peas were still looking for it 20 years later.

    Breakers next:
    Bobby Brown has schoolkids all over the UK reaching for the dictionary with “My Prerogative". Janet Jackson are you watching the video? There's a look for you. BB a big star of 89 and more to come.
    Level 42 – The lesser known “Tracie”, a minor hit for them but familiar as Wifey is a big fan.
    Sheena Easton – For some reason we get to see more of Sheena and the lover in me than the other breakers. Can't think why? Decent enough pop tune.

    Ten City jumping around the stage to “That’s The Way Love Is”. I do like this tune. Happily hear this again any time. Whatever happened to them...

    Come in Brother Beyond, your 15 minutes of fame is up!! Proving that they had only one decent tune and it isn't “Be My Twin”. Nice camera trick idea to get the twin thing going, shame they did it so badly. Oh and here comes Dad playing the sax, doesn't look out of place at all....

    No not Mike and The Mechanics but Marc & Gene at number one. “Something’s Taken Hold Of The Charts” and we get the first of probably many repeats of this performance.

    Closing with the Vanilli on an out of sync video until the credits ended. “Baby Don’t Forget My Number” but the video has HIM getting HER number. I'm confused?!? Frankly if you can't even remember those few digits you don't deserve the girl....catchy chorus though..

    I need a lie down after each of these show now...Nite.
    At its peak.

    1. On the subject of Milli Vanilli, does anyone remember the classic Judy Clay & William Bell hit from 1968 called Private Number? One of my all time favourites, and one of the earliest duet singles that inspired many more more singers to do male-female love duets for the next 20 years or so. Worth a listen, and a whole lot more classy than Milli Vanilli:

      I remember first hearing this on Alan Freeman's Pick Of The Pops in the late 70s, and just loved hearing it over and over, that is how good it still is.

    2. Ah yes, great duet. I first heard this in the most unususal of places. A Tango drinks promo in 1987 where you had to save ring pulls (when you pulled them right off) and could then send off for a free 'Tango Soul Sounds' cassette. I played mine over and over again and the goodies on offer were:-

      A1 –Jackie Wilson I Get The Sweetest Feeling

      A2 –Mel & Tim Backfield In Motion

      A3 –Bob & Earl Harlem Shuffle

      A4 –The Chi-Lites Have You Seen Her?

      A5 –Lee Dorsey Working In The Coalmine

      A6 –Brenton Wood Gimme Little Sign

      B1 –Dobie Gray The In Crowd

      B2 –Booker T & The MG's Time Is Tight

      B3 –The Tams Hey Girl Don't Bother Me

      B4 –Judy Clay, William Bell Private Number

      B5 –Robert Parker Barefootin'

      B6 –The Capitols Cool Jerk

    3. Tragically, Judy Clay died in 2001 at the age of 62 in a car accident, but William Bell is still around at the age of 80.

      Another great male-female duet around that time was Melting Pot by Blue Mink in 1969, and on this rare TV show clip in the earliest days of colour TV at the turn of the decade, and the only surviving footage of them at the time of that single:

  9. Hi anonymous,

    Not a regular visitor of these comments, but I would like to request some Mike Smith episodes if that's fine- 10/03/83, 26/01/84, 24/01/85, 18/05/85, 18/07/85, 13/03/86, 07/05/87, and 28/01/88.

    Preferably a BBC VT/Archive copy if possible, thanks.

    1. hi here are four eps sorry don't have more.

    2. Anonymous' can you got 26/07/84 bbc archive version, please

    3. yes gia here you go :

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Truly dreadful edition, saved only by marc and gene...

    Good start with Then Jericho; not a record played often....
    but then....

    Wrong, that is a dreadful cover of respect...
    Ditto, where is the love

    Breakers - bad, bad, sexy,

    FF button is burning out here...

    Marc and gene gets a play, then Eject

  12. Then Jerico - Good song actually, though you can't take your eyes of Mark Shaw's latest 'Rock God' act. Tit.

    Adeva - Never looked anything less than scary on her record covers, not so much here. I like this version, at least it's doing something different with the song.

    Rob Base / DJ E-Z Rock - Decent enough without being spectacular, the other sample that nobody mentions being from Black Riot's 'A Day In The Life'. Black Riot being Todd Terry in disguise.

    Paris / Downing - Very dull.

    Level 42 - Blatantly a 'will this do' album filler which somehow got released as a single.

    Ten City - I didn't care much for this at the time. I like it much more now. The singer is Byron Stingily who would have solo hits in the 90s.

    Brother Beyond - I happen to think that this is their best song, a great bit of pop fluff. Shame the dancing has got even worse!