Top of the Pops 30 August 1979

Reviewed by Chris Arnsby

Kid Jensen. "Hi and welcome to Top of the Pops. To get us under way let’s see the charts and listen to The Bellamy Brothers."

Chart music: The Bellamy Brothers:  If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me [22].

Secret Affair:  Time For Action [67]. Number 67? Top of the Pops often dips outside of the top 30 but I think this is the first time it's reached down this far.  Kid Jensen says it's his current record of the week which raises the question of how much influence the host has on the songs played. Was Peter Powell a secret fan of The Dooleys? I think we should be told. Regardless, this is a great song and it's a textbook example of how to get the programme off to a great start while also giving a leg up to a record which might otherwise be overlooked. 
Secret Affair poised for the action that it's apparently time for.

Dollar: Love’s Gotta Hold On Me [23]. Audio treacle.

Nick Lowe: Cruel To Be Kind [44]. The business relationship between Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds and Rockpile is complicated. The minimal research I can be bothered to do (three minutes on Wikipedia) indicates that Rockpile is a group in which the two lead singers are signed to different labels. Last month's song Girl Talk was therefore officially a Dave Edmunds track while Cruel To Be Kind is credited to Nick Lowe. Producer Phil Bishop is clearly confused and gives almost as many close-ups to Dave Edmunds as Nick Lowe.

Sister Sledge: Lost In Music [24]. Legs & Co are caught in a trap! Well sort of, the metal bars surrounding them are so wobbly it looks like they've been put in a circular glockenspiel. Also, someone's forgotten to put on the top. Lulu could easily climb out of her cage.
The Gibson Brothers: Ooh! What A Life [10]. A repeat of the purple shellsuit performance from the 2/8/79 edition.

Gary Numan: Cars [20]. A quick turnaround to capitalise on the success of Are ‘Friends’ Electric? Luckily this is just as good. Vision mixer Angela Wilson and Richard Broadhurst on electronic effects put a little light video feedback over the images to compliment the sound. 

B.A. Robertson: Bang Bang [3]. This still sounds like Ian Durey on an off day. I find myself liking everything about the song except for B.A. Robertson himself.

The Commodores: Sail On [48]. Sequins and chest hair.

The Special AKA: Gangsters [6]. Several people in the Top of the Pops audience are suddenly bobbing up and down and wearing pork pie hats. There's an unfortunate moment of vision mixing when a cross-fade of the drummer and Terry Hall results in Terry Hall appearing right over a cymbal; the angle makes it look like he is wearing an Elizabethan ruff.

Johnny Mathis: Gone Gone Gone [28] One for the Radio 2 crowd.

The Stranglers: Duchess [25]. After getting three songs on Top of the Pops in 1978 this is The Stranglers' first time on the show in 1979. It's good to have them back, and to see that they still regard the Top of the Pops audience as lowly worms.

Number 1: Cliff Richard, We Don’t Talk Anymore. Three minutes of Cliff Richards singing, "I don't care that you broke up with me. No I don't care that you broke up with me. See how little I care that you broke up with me." You're protesting too much Cliff, and to whom (grammar) are you singing this song? Una Stubbs? Sue Barker?

Closing titles: Boney M, Gotta Go Home.

Performance of the week: I'd probably have gone with Nick Lowe or The Stranglers but Time For Action has really grown on me with repeat listening, so it's Secret Affair.

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