06/11/2017

Top of the Pops 23 Sept & 14 Oct 1982



Watched by Chris Arnsby. 23/09/1982
John Peel: " Hello millions of humble admirers and welcome to another Top of the Pops. We've got a lot of treats for you, one rather a special treat. David Christie doesn't sound like a very French name, but French he is, here he is at number nine."
[9] David Christie: Saddle Up. The director (this week it's Brian Whitehouse again) has worked out a kind of walk-down routine for some of the Top of the Pops cheerleaders. At the start of the show they stand adoringly around John Peel and then as the camera pulls back they follow it and dance down to where David Christie has been set up on a podium. The move has a theatrical look that seems a little too stylised for Top of the Pops. Still, it's a very swish camera move. The crane pulls back and around David Christie to give us a wide shot of the studio. Eric Wallis is on Lighting, and he gives us a studio filled with pools of light and shadow. It looks great. Unfortunately someone has positioned the Zoo dancers (wearing skimpy cowboy outfits, natch) in shadow so their efforts go largely unseen.
[17] Fat Larry's Band: Zoom. Fat Larry has been hitting the rhyming dictionary hard. Boom/moon (a bit of a cheat). Rang/sang. Away/play. But wait. What's this? Bloom/wonderland. Why that doesn't rhyme a bit. Luckily the next line is whack/back and the natural order of things is restored. Wikipedia tells me this song was featured in the 1982 Only Fools And Horses Christmas special Diamonds Are For Heather, which would probably have started production around the time this episode aired. Someone is playing around with the caption generator at the end of the song. They've rigged the band name to appear vertically one word at a time with each word a different line; each word is also repeated horizontally across the screen. Unfortunately this means the first thing to appear is FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT.....


[36] Dollar: Give Me Some Kinda Magic. Eric Wallis continues his experiments in shadow and lights Dollar with pools of colour. It gives the picture an incredible range of contrast but Dollar want to wear a lot of black. The effect occasionally reduces Thereza Bazar and David Van Day to voluminous glowing perms and heads floating over ominous shifting dark patches.
[6] Shalamar: There It Is. The other two members of Shalamar have got fed up with Jeffrey Daniel hogging all the glory on previous Top of the Pops appearances. All three appear on stage this time and there's no fancy dancing. Jeffrey Daniel does his best but his movements are restricted by having to pretend to play the guitar.
[18] Depeche Mode: Leave In Silence. "You saw them on The Late-Late Breakfast Show last Saturday, " says John Peel in reference to Shalamar. The one person you wouldn't have seen on The Late-Late Breakfast Show last Saturday was John Peel. He was mysteriously absent despite appearing on the first two programmes in the series, and he would be back on Saturday 25th September. Did the BBC have rules forbidding some presenters from appearing on more than one show each week? John Peel follows up his plug for The Late-Late Breakfast Show with an enigmatic statement, "now the first of several Brian Clough lookalikes on this weeks programme." Who can he be referring to?
[26] Musical Youth: Pass The Dutchie. Or, "Musical Yout" as John Peel authentically refers to them. This is the promo film for the song that started a million boring conversations about the meaning of the word Dutchie.
[38] Culture Club: Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? There's an unusual cross-fade at the start of Culture Club's first Top of the Pops appearance. The Culture Club stage is bare scaffolding poles and one of the camera operators has pointed a camera straight up into the framework and is slowly rotating the picture. This is then cross-faded into a big close-up of Boy George. It's only remarkable because it's not something I've seen done before. It looks nice and it fits the floaty tone of the song's introduction, which is as good a reason as any to do it.
[22] Chicago: Hard To Say I'm Sorry. "Danced at by Libra and Leo," of Zoo.
[15] Evelyn King: Love Come Down. A repeat from the 9/9/1982 edition.
[1] Survivor: Eye Of The Tiger. Another chance to see the band walking out of a succession of mucky nightclubs on film in San Francisco.
[4] Rocker's Revenge: Walking On Sunshine. John Peel doesn't waste any time. He says "goodnight" and almost immediately turns away from camera and ducks behind the crowd to make his exit. His caption stays on screen longer than he does. Michael Hurll is credited as Executive Producer but Brian Whitehouse is still listed as Producer and Director. There hasn't been a palace coup. Michaell Hurll is currently off producing The Late-Late Breakfast Show so presumably he won't be properly back until that series goes off air in December.

14/10/1982
John Peel: "Hello hep cats. Welcome to another Top of the Pops and another circuit of wonders, including a particular treat for my wife. Are you all right there Pete?* That comes up later in the programme though. We start with Mari Wilson."
*John Peel definitely says Pete. It could be a barb aimed at Peter Powell the meaning of which is now lost to the mists of time, or it could be a mispronunciation of pet. We can never know.
John Peel? Again? Yes BBC4 has jumped forwards several weeks into October. Unfortunately one of the shows they've skipped celebrated the 15th anniversary of Radio 1; presented by the Radio 1 DJs. This is frustrating for several reason. The show included a rare TV appearance by Adrian Juste; Radio 1's wacky host of the Saturday lunchtime show. A technically complex and well edited selection of comedy clips, but not funny. Adrian Juste insisted on laughing over the clips, interjecting his own gags, or cutting in with lines like "oh, yes," or "what happened." and the overall effect was to completely boil any remaining humour out of the material. There's lots of examples of his shows on YouTube if you really want to take a walk down memory lane. I don't recommend it. The birthday edition also features the Radio 1 DJs dancing to Adam Ant's Friend Or Foe, which is as brilliantly ghastly as you'd expect. It was also the programme which featured the (deliberately) Jocky Wilson illustrated version of Dexy's Midnight Runners Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile)
[8] Mari Wilson: Just What I Always Wanted. Oh beehive. The Wilsonites indulge in the same clowning around as their last appearance. This time they've remembered to check which camera is on and the viewer at home can actually see the whole routine.
[36] Barry Manilow: I Wanna Do It With You. Ugh. Barry's getting frisky. He must have been to the oyster bar. The lyrics are crass and obvious. There's something about the level of single entendre on display which just puts me in a bad mood when under different circumstances it could perhaps be funny. Barry's smirking throughout the whole video as if he thinks it's a hoot, and perhaps it's the expectation the viewer will find the song charming, funny, and -hey- maybe a liddle bit sexy which is responsible for at least 90% of my negative reaction towards it. The best thing I can say about the song is that it reminds me of a hoary old theatrical anecdote. Someone I can't remember, let's say Diana Dors, was approached at a party by an over-ardent admirer who said "I really want to [do it with] you." To which Diana Dors replied, "if you do and I find out about it..."
[38] Tears For Fears: Mad World. There's something very charming about the shots of the Top of the Pops audience wearing party hats and cheerfully bopping away to the line "the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had."
J-n-th-n K-ng's US chart update is snipped from between Tears For Fears and The Pinkies. This means we miss the chance to learn that the unlikely named John Cougar is at number 1 in the USA with his song Jack And Diane. Mr Cougar's only Top of the Pops outing will not be seen because it takes place on a show hosted by Mike Smith. Back in December 2016 the BBC responded to enquires with the statement, "While he was alive, Mike Smith decided not to sign the licence extension that would allow the BBC to repeat the Top of the Pops episodes that he presented. Since his passing, the BBC is continuing to respect his wishes."
[27] The Pinkies: Danger Games. Maybe two or three years ago this would have fitted in perfectly with a lot of the post-punk bands. It's a sign of how quickly the charts have moved on that in 1982 it sounds dated. Keep an eye on the guitarist in the black top. At the end of the song he tries for a flamboyant flourish by spinning his guitar above his head. It's not clear from the camera angle but it looks like he badly overbalances and takes two or three stumbling steps towards the back of the stage before recovering.
[37] Melba Moore: Love's Comin' At Ya. Melba Moore is impeccably dressed in a white eighties power blouse with padded shoulders. She's also accompanied by two dancers from Zoo who frug away on podiums in the front of the stage. Unfortunately the vagaries of camera movement and perspective means Melba Moore is intermittently eclipsed by the two dancers and disappears from view.
[30] The Pretenders:  Back On The Chain Gang. A nice little Zoo routine which mixes between the three dancers performing "live" in the studio, and several of the others in a pre-recorded insert pretending to smash rocks. Chain gang! Do you see? Eric Wallis is on Lighting and he gets some atmosphere into the studio by turning down a lot of the colour, and largely lighting from the front which colours the studio blue and silver. Watch out for the moment at the end when the large blue overhead floodlights are turned off. The last bits of colour drain from the sets, which are largely just grey reflective surfaces, and it's odd to see the place looking so drab.
[20] Ultravox: Reap The Wild Wind. On video. Midge Ure and the gang build a Second World War monument on top of Beachy Head. We can see it's a monument because someone has thoughtfully written "MONUMENT" on top of the plans in marker pen for the camera. At the end of the video John Peel gestures towards two sailors and suggests they've "just come up with the Mary Rose." Henry VIII's flagship had been raised back to the surface on Monday October 11 1982.
[14] The Beatles: Love Me Do. Also on video. The highest chart entry of the week, and re-released to mark the single's 20th anniversary. "This one's for you Pete," says John Peel. Another salvo in the Radio 1 civil war between Peter Powell and John Peel?
[1] Musical Youth: Pass The Dutchie. Poor old Musical Youth. They knocked Survivor off the Number 1 spot, and then sat at the top of the charts for three weeks in 1982. But their repeated moment of glory is curtailed to a single week in the BBC4 run. Next week they'll be replaced by someone else.
[12] Carly Simon: Why. Brian Whitehouse is credited for "Produced and Directed By." Michael Hurll is off helping out Noel Edmonds on Saturdays. But where's Gordon Elsbury? (John- Not even Carly seems to know either)



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