Top of the Pops 3 Feb 1983

Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. David Jensen: "Evening and welcome once again to Top of the Pops." John Peel: "Hello admirers. We're the Torville and Dean of popular music. No actually he's Kid Jensen. He may not look like it but he's lots of fun." David Jensen: "Honest I am, but not half as much fun as Haysi Fantayzee who kick off with Shiny Shiny.
[36] Haysi Fantayzee: Shiny Shiny. John Peel and David Jensen might be overstating exactly how much fun they find Haysi Fantayzee. The host normally pretends to watch the act for at least 20 seconds before making an exit. John Peel and David Jensen dash off immediately. In fact they make a rookie mistake because they give away a previously secret DJ escape route. The pair turn stage right and nip off between two scenery arches instead of turning stage left, past the neon Top of the Pops logo, and walking down the edge of the stage like I expected. Singer Jeremy Healy performs an interesting conjuring trick with a guitar. He's suddenly holding a guitar, which he pretends to play with disdain, and casts it to the floor and it's gone in the long shots. It's probably handed to him, and subsequently picked up by the bloke who resembles Bob Geldof (from the back) who sticks his head right up into the middle of shot just before the first chorus.

[15] Indeep: Last Night A DJ Saved My Life. David Jensen gets mixed up in his introduction. He points at himself while saying the word "life." Presumably the intention was to point at himself on the word "my," or more pertinently "DJ" but the signal got confused between brain and finger. Indeep is two women and a man, who plays the part of DJ. It's a reflection of changing times that I kept expecting him to behave like a club DJ. Instead he stands there, and fiddles with his records, and presses a few buttons, and is generally exactly as animated as you would expect a DJ to be in 1983. Watching Mike Read present the Radio 1 breakfast show wouldn't have been any more exciting. It's something of a surprise at the end of the song when he makes eye contact with the camera and turns into one of those rap singers they have these days.
[68] The Fun Boy Three:  Tunnel Of Love. Number 68? It's unusual for Top of the Pops to pick up a song this early. Standing next to David Jensen is a women who, judging by the yelp she lets out, is really excited to see Fun Boy Three. "That Terry's a laugh, isn't he?" asks John Peel after this catchy tale of dead love released just in time for Valentine's Day.
[16] Fleetwood Mac: Oh Diane. A clip from The Late-Late Breakfast Show. This would probably have been the 13/11/1982 edition.
[5] Kajagoogoo: Too Shy. After a second studio appearance by the spiky-haired ones it's the charts. The chart run down was the first thing recorded in each studio session, and as Janice Long recalled in Top of the Pops, The Story of 1983 it was sometimes difficult to reach the levels of fun and liveliness required for the voice-over from a standing start. The observant viewer will notice something odd as the top 30 begins. There's a noticeable shift in the tone of John Peel's voice when the programme changes from the studio audio to the previously recorded track. Also, due to the way the picture transitions from the hosts to the charts (sliding two pictures around if they were two sides of a cube), we can still see John Peel apparently talking without moving his lips; which is something of a give away.
[19] Tears For Fears: Change. One of the keyboard players is earning double-time and also plays a xylophone. At one point he starts playing his synthesiser with the xylophone hammers (? -what do you call the things used to hit a xylophone?) and I'm pretty sure keyboards don't work like that.
[10] U2: New Years Day. On film. From Canada according to David Jensen, and he should know.
[The Top 10 Video Show] It's time to start playing with the format again. The next 10 minutes are given over to playing a section of each song in the Top 10. It's an idea that probably worked better when videos were new and strange things. I certainly remember finding the videos more exotic and interesting than those boring old studio performances. Now I find the snippets of songs long enough to be boring but too short if you want to see more. Frankly I'd rather have had two more complete songs.
[9] Joe Jackson: Steppin' Out.  The Top 10 Video show gets off to a bad start with a track that breaks the fundamental rule of Top of the Pops. You don't play songs that are going down the charts.
[8] Echo & The Bunnymen: The Cutter. I don't know why but I'm surprised Echo & The Bunnymen made a promo film. It's a more commercial move than I'd expect. John Peel says this was filmed in Iceland. Well the exteriors, which don't feature Echo or his Bunnymen, definitely were. The band are in a garage and could thus be anywhere. Could it be an Icelandic garage?
[7] Wah!: The Story Of The Blues. Wah! appeared previously on a show blocked by the estate of Mike Smith. They finally limp on to the BBC4 run for around 90 seconds. That's long enough to marvel at Pete Wylie's bizarre shoulder jerking. In close-up shots he looks as if he's trying to shuffle across the floor without moving his feet. This is another song going down the charts.
[6] Laura Branigan: Gloria. The video for Gloria is a studio performance by Laura Branigan. It's as minimal effort as you can get.
[5] Kajagoogoo: Too Shy. Them again? (John- Not that shy then really are they?)
[4] The Belle Stars: Sign Of The Times. Buzz. Another rule breach. Top of the Pops shouldn't play the same song two weeks in a row unless it's at number 1.
[3] Phil Collins: You Can't Hurry Love. Another song going down the charts. Which is wrong. And against the rules. Bad Top of the Pops.
[2] Eddy Grant: Electric Avenue. Sorry Eddy. I can't think of anything. Good song.
[1] Men At Work: Down Under. Fortunately Men At Work are also on film so the Top 10 Video Show feels like a self-contained segment with a logical conclusion. It wouldn't have worked if we'd counted down the top 10 videos and then cut back to the studio for the number 1 song.
[17] Billy Griffin: Hold Me Tighter In The Rain. Top of the Pops closes with a very old school Legs & Co style dance routine. Two of the men from Zoo are dressed in macintoshes and do Flick Colby's version of Singin' In The Rain. This is the second time Billy Griffin's song has closed the programme. Hold Me Tighter In The Rain must be one of the very last songs with no video and Top of the Pops couldn't get the singer into the studio. It's interesting to see how quickly videos have downgraded the studio dancers. A couple of years ago the Hold Me Tighter In The Rain performance would have been placed towards the middle of the show rather than tucked away and run under the titles.

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