12/04/2017

Top of the Pops 22 April 1982



As watched by Chris Arnsby. Peter Powell: "Hi folks! Welcome to Top of the Pops! A great big party tonight! Stacks of interest, lots of bands, lots of interest, and lots of action! For openers it's Pig Bag, hit three and Mama's Got A Brand New Pigbag!"

[3] Pig Bag:  Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag. Yes Peter Powell gets the title wrong. He's mixing up his Mamas and his Papas. The people who do the BBC4 subtitles correct his mistake because apparently they value getting the title right over accurately transcribing speech. The song is great. You might remember the nineties remix with a video featuring a then state of the art computer generated skeleton riding a trumpet. Heather Gilder is on Vision Mixing duties. At the end of the song she cuts between shots and gets the visuals to match the pace and intensity of the drumming. Watch out for the first long camera pull back across the Top of the Pops studio. It ends with the stage later used by Kim Wilde coming into view. The stage is occupied by a trio of dancers from Zoo who half-heartedly shuffle along to the song and do some warm up stretches unaware that they're appearing on tonight's show earlier than expected.



[17] Bananarama & Fun Boy Three: Really Saying Something. Okay I get how this works now. It Ain’t What You Do It’s The Way That You Do It was credited to Fun Boy Three with Bananarama while Really Saying Something is Bananarama and Fun Boy Three. If I was feeling more pseudo-intellectual I could probably posit some theory that this change in order reflects the changing popularity of the two bands but I'm not, so I won't.

[8] Elton John: Blue Eyes. "It's great for Top of the Pops when a real megastar comes to do it live! Look at Elton John and hear his hit!" Check out Peter Powell accidentally dissing the other bands who have made the effort to come into the studio tonight. Was Elton John still a megastar in 1982? I always thought the early eighties was a fallow point in his career. He doesn't seem to have had a top ten hit since Song For Guy in 1978, and since then only 1980's Little Jeanie ("An Elton John song so generic it sounds like someone has set Elton John to "play" and walked off and left him" -me) has breached the top forty. Elton John has always been a friend to Top of the Pops. He appeared live in studio three times in 1980 singing Little Jeanie, and Sartorial Eloquence, and hosted once during the disastrous dual presenter experiment. It's not a surprise to see him live in the studio but I can't help wondering if the flurry of promotional activity round Blue Eyes carries a hint of desperation. Fred Wright lights Elton John with shades of blue (that's original).

[11] England World Cup Squad: This Time (We’ll Get It Right). On film. The England World Cup Squad visit Abbey Road Studios to record the single that will propel them all the way to the second round of the 1982 World Cup. Noel Edmonds is also there for some reason. BBC Genome tells me that Kevin Keegan appeared on Swap Shop on 20/03/1982 so depending on when this single was recorded it may be related.

[30] Kim Wilde: View From A Bridge. There's a striking electronic effect which involves a mix between live footage and a still photo of gorgeous-pouting (etc) Kim Wilde. It's not exactly CSO because it seems to involve replacing dark areas of the picture -rather than a specific colour as with CSO. Could this be CSO: the next generation?

[12] Haircut One Hundred: Fantastic Day. Words Peter Powell should not be allowed to say #1; Fantastic! Haircut 100 caper about on video. They all look so young and adorable. It's like a cross between The Monkees and a basket of puppies. However one of the Haircuts doesn't seem to be having such a fantastic day. It's the one sitting to the left of Nick Heyward in the car driving scenes. He looks almost subdued. On the Fantastic scale he's clearly radiating at 2.3 giga-Powells less than the rest of the band. His strained grin might be explained by the way he keeps flinching from Nick Heywood's close flailing elbow.

[34] PhD: I Won't Let You Down. "I won't let you down again," sings the lead singer. It's a song with prickly, defensive lyrics which makes me suspect that regardless of what he says the singer will let you down again. And again.

[26] David Bowie: Cat People (Putting Out Fire). Zoo clamber around on scaffolding to represent this David Bowie track. Odile Dicks-Mireaux costume designer dresses the dancers in faded marionette/post-nuclear war survivor style. There's a very successful effects shot where the scaffolding is cross-faded with a burning model and appears to burst into flames. It must have taken ages to line up on camera.

[22] Shakin Stevens: Shirley. Shirley follows on from songs about Mae, Marie, Julie, and erm Mona Lisa (Japan only according to Wikipedia). Shakin Stevens’ relationship with women would turn sour in 1989 with the release of Jezebel.

Top 10 Countdown: Before Peter Powell launches into the Top 10 this enigmatic image flickers on screen. Anyone know what it is? The BBC4 DOG suggests it's part of the broadcast rather than a technical error at my end. Are the Illuminati sending me coded messages again? (John- It probably means BBC4 is going to become a holographic portal in the so called `Cloud` accessible only by those people with 12Ksupradigimegatonics)

[1] Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder: Ebony And Ivory. This is a terrible song but I'm in danger of becoming obsessed with the video. The great mystery is how much Stevie Wonder was present for the recording. He's clearly CSO'd onto the giant piano keyboard set but I can't work out if he's also electronically added to the shots where he's -supposedly- playing keyboard side by side with Paul McCartney. (John- Actually they were both hoisted on to a giant piano, there’s no CSO whatsoever)

Closing Titles [10] Shalamar:  I Can Make You Feel Good. Top of the Pops closes with the usual audience dancing and credits. Peter Powell sends best wishes to Bardo for Saturday's Eurovision Song Contest. Live this year from Harrogate with an orchestra conducted by Ronnie Hazlehurst. Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive. But to be young was very heaven. Etc.


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