14/01/2018

Top of the Pops 20 Jan 1983



Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Gary Davies: "Hi. Good evening. Welcome to Top of the Pops. What a great show we've got for you tonight and what a way to start."
Janice Long: " It's with a band who've been together for a year. They come from Leighton Buzzard. It's their first appearance on Top of the Pops. It's Kajagoogoo. Too Shy."
[33] Kajagoogoo: Too Shy. Kajagoogoo, the subeditor's nightmare. Limahl has very eighties hair; bleached and spiked to perfection. The computer magazine Zzap!64 used to have little thumbnail sketches of the reviewers and Limahl looks like one of those come to life. I didn't have a Commodore 64 you understand. I was a proud Crash reader and Spectrum owner. I just used to glance at the magazine for a glimpse into a strange otherworld. A bit like sneakily trying to read Tammy in John Menzies. It's probably too late to complain but the lyrics really are nonsense. "Modern medicine falls short of your complaints/Try a little harder/You're moving in circles/Won't you dilate." You wot? (Wikijohn – The Kaj’s went on to have two more top 20 hits and an album `White Feather` before sacking Limahl and trying to carry on without him. `Lim`had a couple of hits including the title song to The Never Ending Story. The group briefly reformed in 2003 before fully getting back together in 2007 and technically are still going today!)


[8] Joe Jackson: Steppin' Out. Janice Long is very excited to be introducing this promo. "The American's have already seen it. We see it tonight for the first time." Initial impressions are disappointing It's just a dull collection of grainy New York footage. But wait. There's a plot. Joe Jackson plays a man playing a piano in a hotel room. Suddenly a maid comes in. Will they both be "steppin' out" together? No. She starts cleaning. In the room next door is another lady. She looks rich and spoilt. Boo. It's her, she's "steppin' out" of the hotel room. What does she get up to? We'll never know because it's time for the maid to tidy up some clothes. She picks up a dress and suddenly she's dancing with a man in a nightclub. Joe Jackson is also there. He's playing the piano. It's a dream sequence. The maid lies on the bed, pretending to wear the dress. It's very unprofessional. If she's caught she will be "steppin' out" to the job centre. Finally the spoilt lady comes back with the man from the maid's dream sequence. It's a tale of frustrated longing and love. Truly all of human life is here. Meanwhile Joe Jackson plays the piano.
[27] Echo & The Bunnymen: The Cutter. Ian McCulloch (no, not the one that played Greg in Survivors) ruins a perfectly good t-shirt by trying to squeeze his entire torso out of the neck hole. Meanwhile the guitarist on the left-hand side of the stage is wearing the lovely Christmas jumper his mum brought him. It's a nice white one with a cheerful red reindeer pattern. He brightens up a glum and downbeat performance from the rest of the band. It doesn't matter how much Ian McCulloch (no, not the one that played Peter in Zombie Flesh Eaters) sings about "sellotape and knives," I'm now choosing to imagine that the cutter is the kind used to cut pastry to make scrummy mince pies. (John – I preferred follow up single `The Foodmixer`)
[25] Melba Moore: Mind Up Tonight. Melba Moore faces the challenge of fear. The Top of the Pops audience armed with balloons. Observe the cool way Melba Moore uses the microphone to bat away a balloon aimed right at her face. She doesn't even take her other hand off her hip.
[23] U2: New Year's Day. Is it even possible to be objective about U2? Here they are in a time before tax avoision and flying hats first class; Bono's not even wearing sunglasses. There's a very odd edit right at the start of the song. It looks like the intent was for Janice Long to introduce U2 as the camera moved from her to the group in a single shot; instead there's an abrupt cut to the drummer while the introduction carries on in voiceover. Behind Janice Long someone -a member of Zoo presumably- launches into a spontaneous backflip, did he fail the landing? Let's draw a veil over Janice Long's "the luck of the Oirish," remark at the end of the song.
[20] Laura Branigan: Gloria. According to Gary Davies Laura Branigan is going to sing the theme song to the James Bond film Octopussy. Astonishingly Wikipedia agrees, and adds that Mari Wilson was also under consideration which would have been brilliant. Instead Rita Coolidge got the gig. Try listening to Gloria and not thinking about Pulp's Disco 2000.
[9] The Stranglers: European Female. Yet another subdued and strange performance from The Stranglers. I think they do it on purpose. Janice Long claims the song "make her go all weak at the knees." Gary Davies just stares into the camera with a fixed grin on his face.
[1] Phil Collins: You Can't Hurry Love. A repeat outing for the multiple Phils video.
[28] Billy Griffin: Hold Me Tighter In The Rain. It's time for the credits and shots of the audience dancing. This week Michael Hurll is credited as Executive Producer, and John Bishop is Director.

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