Guest Post by Chris Arnsby
(we join 1980 already in progress)
Steve Wright,"Hello I'm Steve Wright and welcome to another edition of Top of the Pops. And the charts to Jefferson Starship."
It's Steve Wright's first show. He only started as a Radio One DJ in January 1980 so he's really been rushed on to Top of the Pops. Simon Bates had to wait ages for his turn. The classic line-up I remember is almost completely in place. Only Gary "sloppy bit" Davies is missing. So how does Steve Wright do? Not bad. It's a more polished performance than Simon Bates gave at the end of 1979 but Steve Wright needs to learn to stop waggling his head around so much.
|Boomtown Rats: Bob mistakes a microphone for a Mars bar.
Chart music: Jefferson Starship, Jane .
The Tourists: So Good To Be Back Home Again . It's still weird seeing Annie Lennox as part of a larger group. I'm so used to knowing her as half of Eurythmics or a solo singer.
Cliff Richard: Carrie . Cliff's declined the invitation to stand on a podium in front of a gaggle of bored teenagers who think he's Mike Read. Instead he sends in a video for his song about his unsuccessful attempt to stalk actress Sissy Spacek.
The Whispers: And The Beat Goes On . One of Legs & Co's more boring routines.
The Boomtown Rats: Someone's Looking At You . A video apparently designed to make it look like the band are appearing on Top of the Pops. The opening moments jar slightly because of some award cutting between shots; the band on stage; a noughts and crosses grid; Bob Geldof with the light shining in one eye (in itself an unpleasant image because it makes it look like he's got one blind white eye). It's a good demonstration of the skill of the BBC Vision Mixers because it's not until you see it done poorly that you realise how effortlessly Top of the Pops cuts between multiple cameras.
The Nolans: I’m In The Mood For Dancing . Hilariously you can change the chorus of this song to "I'm in the nude for dancing." Blam! Take that The Nolans! Who's laughing now? Not you, that's for sure.
The Chords: Maybe Tomorrow . Disappointingly not a cover of the theme to The Littlest Hobo. Two teenage girls at the front of the stage wear jumpers with Steve written on one and Wright on the other. Did Steve Wright bring those in, or was it someone else’s idea?
The Regents: 7 Teen . As the camera pans up it reveals a discarded Frankenstein mask laid on the front of the stage. Is the Top of the Pops audience now in the habit of leaving offerings for the bands; as if they were worshippers appeasing wrathful gods?
Queen: Save Me . Queen haven't appeared in the Top of the Pops studio for years, so here's their latest promo film; a mixture of concert footage and animation. I'm surprised how much I like it.
The Selecter: Three Minute Hero . Right at the start Arthur Hendrickson leans forwards and as Pauline Black starts singing he points at the camera and mouths the opening words, "they asked you..." Arthur Hendrickson is closer to the centre of the frame so his movement draws the eye and just for a second it gives the impression that he's singing in this impossibly high voice.
AC/DC: A Touch Too Much . There's a couple of clunking edits in this song. The excised lyrics too racy for 1980 were, "It wasn't the first, it wasn't the last/She knew we was makin' love/I was so satisfied, deep down inside/Like a hand in a velvet glove" and "It wasn't the first, it wasn't the last/It wasn't that she didn't care/She wanted it hard, wanted it fast/She liked it done medium rare."
The Buggles: The Plastic Age . Buggles take their song which isn't Video Killed The Radio Star out for an airing, and when did they earn the definitive article to become The Buggles?
Number one: The Specials, Too Much Too Young. Cut short before the last verse to avoid the final line, "try wearing a cap!"
Closing titles: Joe Jackson, It’s Different For Girls .
Performance of the week: The Selecter, Three Minute Hero.