27/04/2018

Top of the Pops 14 April 1983


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Andy Peebles: "Hello, good evening, and welcome to this evening's edition of Top of the Pops." Gary Davies:" We've got a great show lined up for you tonight and we start with our Eurovision song, I'm Never Giving Up, this is Sweet Dreams."
[41] Sweet Dreams: I'm Never Giving Up. Andy Peebles is late to the Top of the Pops party. He joined Radio 1 in 1978 but only started hosting duties in 1982; also, BBC4 have skipped his first three editions due to other unacceptable presenters. Sweet Dreams are the great hope of Eurovision glory for 1983. They boldly follow in the footsteps of Bardo by being bland Bucks Fizz wannabes. They don't win.
[23] Eurythmics: Love Is A Stranger. On video. I can't work out if Director John Bishop is being clever by following Sweet Dreams with Eurythmics.
[35] Bauhaus: She's In Parties. There's a disjointed transition from Eurythmics to Bauhaus. The performance starts with a big close-up of the spinning studio lights (I never did establish what they are called); then cuts to a high angle camera shot of the studio; then to a close-up of drums; then an incredibly brief shot of the drummer; then back to the crane shot with a chunk of scenery blocking half the frame and with a slight blur to the picture, as if the camera operator is playing with the focus (it's avant-garde don't you know); then back to the drummer briefly; then back to the drums; and then we cut to Gary Davies who introduces the song. Fair play to John Bishop, he wants to make his mark, but his choices here make it look like Vision Mixer Carol Abbott is pressing buttons at random and cutting between shots before the camera operators are ready. The last time Bauhaus were on Top of the Pops, 27/01/83, lead singer Pete Murphy and the guitarist leapt into the crowd at the end of the song. Nobody does that this week. Midway through the performance, roughly 90 seconds in, there's a crane shot of the stage which has been slowed down. An insert shot to cover something going wrong in studio, or just there because it looks nice and matches the mood of the song? You decide.
[32] Kissing The Pink: The Last Film. A frantic performance from Kissing The Pink. The lead singer has studied at the David Byrne school of dance, there are four drummers on stage all flailing away, and the keyboard player has come dressed as several Monty Python's Flying Circus characters; there's a hint of Michael Palin's boring Arthur Pewty; a dash of Gumby; and a touch of unexploded Scotsman. Clive Thomas, on Lighting, pulls off a nice effect for Josephine Wells vocal. He dials back the lighting from a lurid pink to a sombre blue. It's made more effective by the sudden stillness of the rest of the band. Well, everyone except the main drummer who wasn't paying attention in rehearsal and is off in a world of his own. 
 [28] Sunfire: Young, Free & Single. I can't help feeling Sunfire have hitched their lyrical wagon to the wrong rhyming couplet. "Well I'm young free and single and I just want to mingle with you girl." I don't think you can mingle with a single (oh cripes now I'm at it) person. The word mingle is also one of those words which sounds more and more stupid as it's repeated; and it gets repeated a lot during this song. There are not many other words that rhyme with single; dingle, tingle... fingle. "Well I'm young free and single, and I want to go to Dingle with you lady." Perhaps not. Sunfire, if it's not too late can I suggest a rewrite to, "well I'm young single and free and I just want to be with you girl."
[7] Kajagoogoo: Ooh To Be Ah. Kajagoogoo are on film for this high concept promo which also features Kenny Everett and Christopher Timothy off of All Creatures Great And Small.
[1] David Bowie: Let's Dance. Following on from The Thompson Twins and their "sentimental roses," lyric, I spent ages trying to decipher the meaning of  "tremble like a flower."
[14] New Order: Blue Monday. New Order aren't in a hurry to come back to the Top of the Pops studio, so the show closes to the crowd dancing to the record.

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