06/11/2019

Top of the Pops 18 Oct 1984


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Janice Long: "Hello and welcome to Top of the Pops. Some great stuff on the programme tonight including Ultravox and Meatloaf, and the very first appearance from Julian Lennon." Gary Davies: "And it's almost exactly four years ago that this band first appeared on Top of the Pops. They're with us tonight. Spandau Ballet, Highly Strung."

[25] Spandau Ballet: Highly Strung. Gary Davies’ "four years ago" comment is calling out for some diligent fact checking... He's right. Spandau Ballet first appeared on the 13/11/1980 edition with To Cut A Long Story Short. Here's what one perceptive critic wrote about that first appearance. "Spandau Ballet arrive in the Top of the Pops studio a month after Adam & The Ants. Too slow boys. The New Romantic movement has already been invented." Steve Norman is overdoing it a lot. If he keeps waving that saxophone around he'll have someone's eye out.
The Spands- "Tony, mate, it's over there!"


[4] Paul McCartney: No More Lonely Nights. A second repeat for the promo film.

[30] Julian Lennon: Too Late For Goodbyes. Top of the Pops has got the last two acts out of order. It's Lennon–McCartney not McCartney-Lennon. (John- You’d have to ask Paul about that one!) It's almost impossible to watch Julian Lennon without trying to second guess all the artistic decisions that have been made. Is he wearing that black feathered shirt because he likes it or because it looks like the kind of faux fur jacket John Lennon was wearing in the 1970s? Is he singing like that because it's his vocal range or has he tried to sound like his dad? Does he have his hair styled like that because it's a good look for him or because it's a more mullety and blow dried version of the way Lennon senior let his hair grow out? Does Julian play the harmonica because it's an essential element of the song or... And so on and so on. Obviously I don't have the answers to any of these questions and I'm being unfair by refusing to allow Julian Lennon to step out of the shadow of his father even 35 years later. Watching this performance reminded me of the spoof lyrics from the 1985 Spitting Image Book. "Imagine I’m John Lennon/It isn’t hard to do/Because I sing just like him/And look just like him too. Imagine all my records/Selling by the ton/For the simple reason/I’m John Lennon’s son." Also, Julian's forgotten to bring along his harmonica. He's not fooling anyone by cupping his hands over his face like that. (John- Or it’s a tiny harmonica)
"...and we could form this group, la, and play in Hamburgers like" Paul isn't fooled.

[22] Chaka Khan: I Feel For You. On video.

[10] John Waite: Missing You. Also on video. Top of the Pops hasn't scheduled two videos back to back. J-n-th-n K-ng's US Chart Rundown has been surgically removed by BBC4.

[26] Meat Loaf: Modern Girl. Visual Effects Designer Robert Thomas gets in the mood for Guy Fawkes Night by detonating a year's supply of thunderflashes during the first verse. The song itself is bog standard Meatloaf. Is there a bit where he sings quietly and then everything goes loud. Yes. Yes, there is. (John- Like, in fact, a bat out of hell.)

[23] Ultravox: Love’s Great Adventure. Fresh back from Kenya, "where they've been making a video for this song," according to Gary Davies. Unfortunately the video is scheduled for the 01/11/1984 edition which won't be shown on BBC4 as Mike Smith was on co-hosting duty. Here's fun. The synthesiser riff from this song reminds me of the theme music to a TV programme but I'm not sure which. It's not quite Terrorhawks or Knightmare. It's a bit like the middle section to Airwolf but again that's not quite right.
The `Vox before make up is applied
 [1] Wham!: Freedom. A repeat performance from the 11/10/84 edition.

[5] Giorgio Moroder & Philip Oakey: Together In Electric Dreams. The programme credits play out over shots of the audience dancing to the theme from The Terminator. (John- Er…)

Performance of the week: Julian Lennon: Too Late For Goodbyes.


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