19/08/2018

Top of the Pops 1 Sept 1983


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. John Peel: "Howdy pals. Sure am glad you could mosey on down for another Top of the Pops.  We're live again this week, so far." David Jensen: "That's right Sundown. Hope you're comfy as we launch into another Top of the Pops with Modern Romance."
[9] Modern Romance: Walking In The Rain. BBC4 has just jumped two weeks into the future, for anyone suffering from temporal whiplash. KC and the Sunshine Band's triumphant three weeks at number one have been cruelly cut short. BBC4 only skipped 7 of the 30 editions between 1st January and 28th July 1983. In the back half of 1983 they'll be skipping 9 of the 23 remaining due to the increased presence of the forbidden hosts. Meanwhile, here's Modern Romance. Hope you enjoy their new direction. Previously they've specialised in what the Germans call le ohrwurm but now they're into soulful ballards. It's rubbish. Check out the lead singer and the blonde guitarist. I don't think I've ever seen two men modelling Princess Diana fringes before. The standard "chart position" "band name" "song" caption doesn't appear until halfway through the first chorus, just after the line "and cast aside those feelings of despair." This is a live edition, and someone in the gallery obviously forgot to display it at the start of the performance. I'm just surprised that Top of the Pops is so committed to its own format that a caption must be displayed, even if the song is well underway. Having said that, it's possible the technology of the time can only show captions in order and that unless this one is put on screen the rest of them won't work. (John- It's produced by the legendary Tony Visconti of all people!)
 

[4] Madness: Wings Of A Dove. On video.
[30] Gary Numan: Warriors. Gary's gone for a new look; all Mad Max post-apocalyptic leather. His also wearing peach lipstick which isn't his colour. Unluckily for him he's also been stuck on the garish Money Programme stage. Bright lights and neon colours don't suit this bland tune which sounds like someone's set Gary Numan to shuffle and walked away.
Gaz Numan- He really doesn't look sure about this outfit does he?
European Charts: John Peel's been sent off to Paris again. Here's his grainy, washed out, dirt speckled, film report; what does the BBC do to get film in such poor condition so quickly? This time John Peel brings us clips of:
Righeira: Vamos A La Playa. A jaunty pop song about the perils of nuclear explosions; apparently. The video is recorded in eye-broiling enhanced colours. Both singers appear to have Dick Tracy style radios on their wrists. Or perhaps they're Geiger counters.
Africa The Voodoo Master: Rose Laurens. You could spend a cheerful hour problematizing the imagery in this video. If you were so inclined.
Ryan Paris: Dolce Vita. Not as good as Vamos A La Playa.
Berdian Stenberg: Rondo Rosso. Not as good as Dolce Vita. (John- Are you just making these up!?)
[20] Genesis: Mama. On video. (John- Genesis go genius! A great big epic single and a surprising hit and because it’s so good, here it is….)
[22] Big Country: Chance. Is there a technical term for the way Big Country pick at their electric guitars and make all their songs sound vaguely like Scottish country dancing music?
[32] Stray Cats: Sexy and Seventeen. According to the cover of the single this song's title is (She's) Sexy & 17. David Jensen renders it as "She's Sexy" but he does have John Peel's gun up his nose at the time; I didn't mention the rhythm pals are dressed as cowboys this week. "I ain't goin' to school it starts too early for me," sings the clearly too old for school Brian Setzer. I'm suddenly reminded of watching Grease with it's cast of haggard and stooped teenagers.
[1] UB40: Red Red Wine. A fluffy of party poppers covers someone, let's call them Robin Campbell, in streamers. After a few seconds he looks like he's been done over by Spider-Man. Still he's having a great time. Even as a couple of balloons bounce of his head.
[17] New Order: Confusion. Top of the Pops plays out with the standard shots of the crowd dancing.


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