23/02/2018

Top of the Pops 17 Feb 1983



Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Peter Powell: "Hi folks! Welcome to Top of the Pops! Gary just give me two names of any bands that are on the show tonight." Gary Davies: [talking over Peter Powell, in a very unprofessional way] We've got Madness, Fun Boy Three..."

Peter Powell: " And Tears For Fears! And Haysi Fantayzee! Gary Davies: "And we're going to get underway with Wham! and Wham Rap!" Peter Powell: "Yes!"

[8] Wham!: Wham Rap! Peter Powell and Gary Davies dash off through the recently revealed secret DJ exit from the Top of the Pops set. Peter Powell, being the old hand, knows how to do this off camera. Gary Davies isn't quick enough. His exit can be witnessed at the back of shot. It looks like he's moving a little too fast for the shiny studio floor. He stumbles a bit. This is a breakthrough performance for Wham! Andrew Ridgeley finally gets a close-up (about two minutes into the performance). Proof positive that Top of the Pops now considers him half as important to the band as backing singers Dee C. Lee and Shirlie Holliman (keep up, Pepsi won't replace Dee C. Lee until sometime after Club Tropicana); who get two close-ups. For those keeping score Andrew Ridgeley's got some way to go before he's considered as important as the Greek chorus who get to say lines like "D.H.S.S." and "yeah." They get a mighty seven close-ups. A feature in the Smash Hits Personal File must follow soon.



[4] Tears For Fears: Change.  On film. Curt Smith croons while shrouded figures scuttle through the kind of steel and glass building that was starting to become more common in 1983. Where is it? Who knows. It's not the Coutts building in the Strand. It looks sort of new-town-Milton-Keynes-ey. I can definitively rule out the Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre in Kent. A home counties location would make sense for any penny conscious director looking to stretch the budget given to any band that wasn't Duran Duran.

[34] Icehouse: Hey Little Girl. Gary Davies thinks that Icehouse are "probably the number one band" in Australia. Poor Men At Work, that's show business.

[16] Musical Youth: Never Gonna Give You Up. The television premier of Musical Youth's promo film for the song that isn't Pass The Dutchie. Actually, that's not strictly accurate. Whisper it softly but Musical Youth's video for Youth Of Today was shown on Top of the Pops in November 1982, presented by D*v* L** Tr*v*s. Never Gonna Give You Up is only Musical Youth's follow up to Pass The Dutchie in the BBC4 universe.

[35] Patti Austin & James Ingram: Baby Come To Me. Speaking of people's whose names can only be whispered (like that scene in The Fellowship Of The Ring where Gandalf passes on a message to a moth) BBC4 has lopped Baby Come To Me out of existence because it's introduced by J-n-th-n K-ng at the end of his US Chart Rundown. It's an unusually obvious edit. The video for Never Gonna Give You Up ends, the audience applause fades oddly, and we cut to Peter Powell and his deathless prose. "And now to the masters of music video. This is Madness!" I wouldn't normally tell the phantom editor how to do his job, but maybe this could have been accomplished by a simple cross-fade to the studio performance of Baby Come Back To Me? You can even cut out the USA Number One caption if that's causing concern. People will just think it's Michael Hurll fiddling with the presentation again.
Patti Austin and James Ingram: They met while waiting at the same bus stop

[24] Madness: Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day). Meanwhile on BBC4 here's Madness.

Top 30: Gary Davies is still getting used to this presenting lark. He's not getting the required energy into his Top 30 countdown. Things start off well but we're in trouble by number 24. The slide has changed to 23 (Haysi Fantayzee) before Gary finishes explaining that the Madness single is a new entry. The remorseless march continues. Haysi Fantayzee blip off screen before Gary has finished and then, oh-no, he unwisely pauses for breath. There's no time! Number 22 is another new entry for Depeche Mode with Get The Balance Right. Gary only reaches the word "get" before the slide flips to U2 at number 21.

[23] Haysi Fantayzee: Shiny Shiny. Peter Powell can be trusted with the Top 20. He's a pro. He'll get it done. Even if he does call it the "top twenny." "At 20 The Story Of The Blues from Wah!" That's good Peter. Keep it up. We're all with you. "At... [long pause] 19." Good grief. How on earth do you lose count two records into the Top 20?

[14] The Fun Boy Three: Tunnel Of Love. A disappointing night for Neville Staple and Lynval Golding. They achieve sub-Andrew Ridgeley levels of close-ups. In the end the pair have to crash a close-up of Terry Hall during some synchronised "ooohs." Unfortunately Peter Logan on Visual Effects has set the smoke machine to fug and the close-up is suddenly obscured. In fact the studio smoke goes so quickly from Highlands Mist to pea-souper that I wonder if we might be seeing two separate takes edited together? Or possibly the smoke machine has caught fire.
Kajagoogoo's sideline as interior designers was not too successful

[1] Kajagoogoo: Too Shy. The show closes with the credits rolling over the number 1 song. Gary Davies and Peter Powell stick around for the duration. Could they like Too Shy more than Wham Rap!? (That punctuation is a problem) Outrageous. After Peter Powell says goodnight the camera pulls back to reveal a man sitting glumly on the ground. He's wearing a large foam rubber cowboy hat and evidently he's been asked to sit down to avoid blocking the two hosts. (John- And do you know because nobody told him he could stand up he remained sitting there for a further three days until the cleaner threatened to douse him with lemon smelling floor cleaner?)


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