18/08/2019

Top of the Pops 2 Aug 1984


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Simon Bates: "Welcome to Top of the Pops. We have a world exclusive on the new George Michael video coming up later." Gary Davies: "And we've got lots of other great music as well like Prince, Tina Turner, the Kane Gang, but first to get us underway here's Black Lace. Agadoo."

[19] Black Lace: Agadoo. So soon? I knew it had to be coming but these repeats have only been running since 2011. I hoped I would have more time to prepare.
Black Lace, the very name sends a chill up the spine. Hang on. I've used that "the very name" line from The Daemons before. *checks card index* Yes, 13/04/1983. I was going on about Black Lace's other terrible song Superman. And on that occasion I misquoted the line as "the very name sends a shiver up the spine." Oh the shame. The shame. I've done Doctor Who wrong. I'll never be allowed in The Tavern again. *tears up Anti-Dalek Force membership card and ceremonially burns pile of Top, Faze, and This Way Up*.

This is Black Lace's third song to make Top of the Pops after the terrible Superman, and the terrible, terrible Mary Ann, the UK's Eurovision 1979 entry (7th place).

In total Black Lace made nine appearances on Top of the Pops. Two for Mary Ann, don't ask how when the song didn't even break into the Top 40. Superman also got two performances as will their post-Agadoo song Do The Conga. Agadoo itself will clock up three appearances; two on regular editions and one on the review of 1984. For those of you keeping count this was performance number five of nine. (John- Surely there was a review back then that just said: Agadon’t)



[4] Prince: When Doves Cry. On film. When Top of the Pops last featured the song on the 19/07/1984 edition they showed the video. Gary Davies does point out that this is "not the usual video but from his film Purple Rain," so did Top of the Pops put together a special assembly of film clips? My [tin] ears could be playing tricks on me, but it sounds like this version of the song is being played slightly too quickly.


[15] The Kane Gang: The Closest Thing To Heaven. Can you be a gang if there are only three of you? During The Kane Trio's last appearance I was distracted by an audience member who wore a hat with a comedy foam rubber mallet coming out of the side and hitting the wearer on the head. I never did find out the correct name for this item of millinery. There are no such distractions this time so lets take a good look at them. The trio look a little lost on the big stage but I'm sure their mums were really proud to watch them on the telly between Olympic Grandstand and Hi-de-hi!

[5] Tina Turner: What's Love Got To Do With It? On video.

[43] A Flock Of Seagulls: The More You Live The More You Love. Something terrible has happened to A Flock Of Seagulls. Lead singer Mike Score (yes, apparently that's his real name- it's like a joke from Radio Active) has ditched the iconic over-gelled swoop for a hideous feather cut that makes him look like Rod Stewart's stunt double.


[44] Trevor Walters: Stuck On You. It's Peri! Yes, standing next to Gary Davis as he says, oh, something or other is Nicola Bryant from TV's Doctor Who. Presumably someone warned the Doctor that Agadoo was going to be on tonight's programme and he sent his companion along to make sure that the monster from Peladon didn't get out of hand. Nicola keeps gazing at Gary Davis and smirking; looks like someone's got a crush.

Trevor Walters is leaving on "that midnight train tomorrow." Is that the train that leaves at midnight tonight, or the day after? I think Trevor means he's getting the overnight train that leaves the station at 00:00 tonight, and is being pedantically correct when he points out that that this is actually tomorrow's train. The trouble is it sounds like he's talking about leaving a 24 hour gap. "Ooh girl, I'm coming back to you in about a day or so," just doesn't sound nearly so romantic. (John- She went to the Pink Albatross and got sloshed on lime cocktails anyway so she was fine.)

[12] George Michael: Careless Whisper. Top of the Pops has a first look at the video. A world exclusive as we are breathlessly informed by Gary Davies. It's shot in faux widescreen, which would have looked cinematic and dead classy in 1984. On modern televisions it just looks stupid with the picture squeezed into an A4 shaped hole in the middle of the screen.

[1] Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Two Tribes: A repeat of the gun waving performance from 19/08/1984.

[16] Divine: You Think You're A Man. I could do without Gary Davies' quip that You Think You're A Man is Simon Bates' favourite record. Unless Simon Bates was actually playing the song constantly, it sounds a bit gay-panicy; imagine liking a record by a man dressed as a lady. Classic 1984, in other words. The episode ends with Gary Davies' name misspelled as Gary Davis on the closing credits. This will have bruised his ego and gone some way to restoring the karmic balance of the universe. (John – Wasn’t his name actually Woah Gary Davies?)

Performance of the week: This is a thin week for studio performances. I'm playing my joker and selecting  Prince: When Doves Cry which has the advantage of not looking or sounding like anything else in this edition.


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