31/05/2020

Top of the Pops 9 & 16 May 1985

2 eps for 1 reviewed by Chris Arnsby. 9 May: Janice Long: “Hello. Welcome to a live Top of the Pops. I'm auntie Janice.” John Peel: “And I'm uncle John. And we're going to play you some songs from the hit parade. Aren't we Janice?” Janice Long: “They're smashing, like The Style Council and Walls Come Tumbling Down.”
[13] The Style Council: Walls Come Tumbling Down. “You don't have to take this crap!” Tone it down a bit Paul. Knock off the casual swearing or we'll lose the audience. Or maybe that's the plan. BBC2 is showing The Moonraker (1958) against Top of the Pops. Perhaps the schedulers are hoping casual viewers will switch over, thinking it to be Moonraker (1979). (John- I’d have thought the opposite would be true!)



[11] Freddie Mercury: I Was Born To Love You
. On video. (John- I wonder how many song titles you could add the words `on video` to and it would be funny.)

 [7] Steve Arrington: Feel So Real. Steve Arrington's flip-flops fall off at the first vigorous dance movement. Maybe next time he should wear more substantial footware. The discarded flip-flops lurk behind him on stage. (John- You’ll have health and safety down from the gallery to tut about that and probably a memo the next week about the do’s and don’t’s of flip flops) The kind of low-level trip hazard you don't really want to deal with while dancing around on live television. And presumably, although we don't see this, there is a very un-rock-and-roll moment when he either has to put them back on, or carry them off stage barefoot like someone gingerly picking their way up a beach. Steve Arrington is also wearing a blue toga-like affair with gold braiding on the shoulders. He must really like it, because he also models it on the cover of the single. Maybe this and the flip-flops are part of his way to “feel so real.” If those flip-flops come off again and he treads on a bit of Lego that's not all he's going to feel.

[19] Godley & Crème: Cry. On video, and very bad for the eyes. The video is a series of pre-morphing transitions from one face to another, and somehow the effect is more distracting and unnerving than morphing, because it's not quite as seamless. 

[16] Curtis Hairston: I Want Your Lovin’ (Just A Little Bit) . Does Curtis want my lovin' a little bit, or does he want a little bit of my lovin'? The song's title is too ambiguous for my taste but once that's cleared up everything else is just a process of negotiation. 
Top 40 Breakers: [30] Bryan Ferry, Slave To Love; [29] Kim Wilde, Rage To Love; [25] Divine, Walk Like A Man; [20] Jimmy Nail, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore
Top 10: [10] Phil Collins, One More Night; [9] DeBarge, Rhythm Of The Night; [8] Simple Minds, Don't You (Forget About Me); [7] Steve Arrington, Feel So Real; [6] U2, The Unforgettable Fire; [5] USA For Africa, We Are The World; [4] Tears For Fears, Everybody Wants To Rule The World. 
 [3] Bronski Beat & Marc Almond, I Feel Love. Back in the studio again. Mark Almond has left his badge for mathematical excellence at home this time. He has also loosened up, a bit. He doesn't seem quite as self-conscious, and there are a couple of occasions when the music takes him and he almost raises his hands above shoulder level. Once again, the two false endings get loud cheers and applause from the audience. 
[2] Phyllis Nelson: Move Closer. You've got to feel sorry for Phyllis Nelson. First her record company refuse to stump up the cash for a video and then she's virtually airbrushed out of the chart countdown. She's not even mentioned by name in the five second link between Bronski Beat and Paul Hardcastle. “What's number two Janice?” “John... move closer.” And that's it. Not even a namecheck.
 
[1] Paul Hardcastle: 19.
This feels like it's been video heavy Top of the Pops, but a couple of the more recent editions have shown three videos. As always Top of the Pops is limited by the available performers. It's not as if Paul Hardcastle can come in and pretend to go “n-n-n-n-nineteen” for three and a half minutes. You have to go back to the 14/03/1985 edition of Top of the Pops to find the last time the number one song was performed in studio, that was Dead Or Alive with You Spin Me Round (Like A Record). Since then all the number ones have been represented by videos; Philip Bailey & Phil Collins, Easy Lover; USA For Africa, We Are The World; even Phyliss Nelson couldn't get back to Television Centre for the week Move Closer was at number one so she got a repeat of an earlier studio performance. In fact [spoilers for 1985] it doesn't look like there will be a studio performance of a number one for another six weeks. 

[31] The Untouchables: Free Yourself. Audience dancing and credits. 
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: Meh, well it can't be Marc Almond and Bronski Beat again.... The Style Council, Walls Come Tumbling Down


16 May: Gary Davies: “Hi, good evening, Thursday night welcome to Top of the Pops. Cracking show lined up for you, I mean we've got Bryan Ferry, Loose Ends, Duran Duran.” Peter Powell: “Jimmy Nail! Paul Hardcastle! And for starters, with Rage To Love this is Kim Wilde!” 
[22] Kim Wilde: Rage To Love . Top of the Pops' attempts to avoid showing the studio crew are endearingly neurotic. The audience at all times must believe Top of the Pops flows endlessly from an eternal pop and party dimension. How could the image of someone as gorgeous and pouting, etc, as Kim Wilde possibly be captured by anything so mundane as an EMI 2001 camera? We're off to a cracking start this week. One of the first shots of the programme captures a studio cheerleader acting as a human shield to a camera operator. It's a doomed attempt to stop the viewers at home seeing the handheld camera operator lining up a shot of Kim Wilde's gorgeous and pouting, etc, drummer.  
[14] Bryan Ferry: Slave To Love. Gary Davies is worried that people will confuse Rage To Love with Slave To Love. You can't be too careful, which is why Bryan Ferry is on video and not in the studio. (John- It was a well known thing in the mid Eighties for people to confuse Kim Wilde and Bryan Ferry but when it came to dancing only one of them could Do the Ferry.) 
[20] Loose Ends: Magic Touch . What rhymes with magic? Well, yes tragic but maybe that's not the word Loose Ends needed here. “Ooh I like your magic/Just a little tragic/ Ooh I like your magic touch.” I like your touch because it's a little tragic. That's not a sentiment you'd want to see written in a valentine's card. What does the website rhymezone.com suggest? Pelagic? A bit wet [FX, rimshot]. Cephalalgic, a “headache-relieving medicine” is better, suggesting that the owner of the magic touch has pain reliving properties. Or maybe we could just rewrite the lyrics. “Baby it's not tragic/How I like your magic/Ooh I like your magic touch.” (John- Actually it does sound more than a little tragic).To, Loose Ends, Studio TC8, BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane, London.W12 8QT. C/O 1985. Dear Loose Ends, enclosed please find rewrite of lyrics. Invoice attached. Yours etc. 
[7] Duran Duran: A View To A Kill. On video, and featuring some of the shoddiest CSO work I've seen for a while. Oh, and that “Bon, Simon Le Bon,” line at the end simply has to go. Dear Duran Duran... 
[8] Jimmy Nail: Love Don't Live Here Any More . A Google search for Jimmy reveals that Mister Nail is the tenth most popular internet Jimmy. Well behind Carr, Greaves, Hoffa, and (bafflingly) Sham 69's Jimmy Pursey. (John- In a fight though, Jimmy Nail would win because of his crocodile shoes...)
 

Top 40 Breakers: [25] Depeche Mode, Shake The Disease; [24] Go West, Call Me; [15] Marillion; Kayleigh. 
Top 10: [10] Simple Minds, Don't You (Forget About Me); [9] Tears For Fears, Everybody Wants To Rule The World; [8] Jimmy Nail, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore; [7] Duran Duran, A View To A Kill; [6] The Style Council, Walls Come Tumbling Down; [5] Steve Arrington, Feel So Real; [4] DeBarge, Rhythm Of The Night; [3] Bronski Beat & Marc Almond, I Feel Love; [2] Phyllis Nelson, Move Closer.  
[1] Paul Hardcastle: 19. 
[23] Divine: Walk Like A Man. Audience dancing and credits. Oh god, surely not everyone in the audience is wearing pastel colours?  (John- It's 1985! Everyone looks like a packet of mint Imperials!) 
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: Kim Wilde: Rage To Love




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