Top of the Pops 20 Sept 1984

Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Andy Peebles: "Good evening. Hello and a very warm welcome to this week's edition of Top of the Pops." Steve Wright:"And we're going to kick off tonight's show with those Bronski Beat boys. Here they are with Why?!!"

[22] Bronski Beat: Why? Jimmy Somerville has taken a course in being a pop star. He's learned a whole new set of moves since Bronski Beat last appeared on the 07/06/1984 edition; he's mastered the art of crouching slightly to play to the low angled camera; he spins on the spot; he points; he pouts; he blows a kiss to the camera; and, perhaps sweetest of all, he beams with delight when he pulls of a dance move that gets whoops of approval from the audience.

It's just a shame he's decided to dress as blandly as possible in a beige shirt, daringly offset with beige trousers. If you want genuinely eighties style you'll need to point your eyes at the back of the stage where abstract graffiti-style shapes have been airbrushed onto a backcloth.

Bronkski Beat set tonight's trend. This edition of Top of the Pops is full of first class groups presenting slightly second class material. That said, the only reason to call Why? second class is because it's not Smalltown Boy.

[17] David Bowie: Blue Jean. Speaking of people not bringing along their best work here's David Bowie on film. (John- This is a hugely underrated Bowie song I’d say and the video is excellent, though the full length half hour mini film not quite so. Love the Screaming Lord Byron look too. Just thought I’d talk this one up a bit!)

[7] Sister Sledge: Lost In Music. Sister Sledge may be the exception to tonight's rule. Lost In Music is great. (John applauds in agreement) Although their Pocahontas themed costumes don’t work. Andy Peebles suggests Sister Sledge should re-release We Are Family. Maybe they will Andy. Maybe they will. Who knows what Sister Sledge will decide to release in far off 1985. Sister Sledge have had a productive few weeks in the UK. Their two Top of the Pops appearances (this and 06/09/1984) neatly sandwich an outing on The Late Late Breakfast Show on 15/09/1984. Who's the Producer of that programme? Some bloke called Michaell Hurll.

[19] Queen: Hammer To Fall. And here's Queen on film with their contribution to tonight's second string theme. The band rock out in generic concert footage from Brussels. The promo is a step down from those for Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, and even the operatic and baroque look of It's A Hard Life. Supposedly, the promo for I Want To Break Free didn't go down well in America and I can't help wondering if this generic hard-rawk look is an attempt to undo some of the damage. (John- Actually lots of bands would get to the fourth single from the album and just release a live or pretend live video)

[20] Nik Kershaw: Human Racing. Oh dear, Nik's far too proud of the "let's go human racing line." It's the kind of lyric that occurs at 3am in the morning and seems really deep and profound, but isn't. The audience are subdued and about two-thirds of the way through Nik's performance they are more interested in the movement of the cameras; which is always a bad sign. Or maybe like me they can't believe Nik Kershaw's horrid belt and braces combination.

[28] Adam Ant: Apollo 9. Top of the Pops continues to use the nasty guitar heavy version of Yellow Pearl to accompany the chart countdown. Fortunately they've turned down the volume a bit so it doesn't seem so intrusive.

A hand-held camera operator in a blue shirt lurks at the front of the stage to get some low angled shots of Adam Ant. He's got a big piece of paper stuck right on the top of his camera. Is it he going shopping later, or is it his to do list? Record Adam Ant for Top of the Pops; tick. (Fact John- Apollo 9 was produced by none other than Tony Visconti! And it’s brilliant! And in fact here’s the video…)

[18] Level 42: Hot Water. Mark King cuts loose at one point and as he dances a women right at the front of the stage raises her hands and shakes them frantically. It's like watching someone at a religious revival. Maybe she's been spontaneously healed. If the touch of a king can cure scrofula then the presence of the lead singer and bassist of the band Level 42 can probably do wonders for keratosis pilaris.

[1] Stevie Wonder: I Just Called To Say I Love You. Why is there a piece of toast in this video. Does Stevie Wonder just really love toast? Noel Edmonds has all the answers on The Late Late Breakfast Show https://twitter.com/i/status/918914629887315968

[27] Freddie Mercury. Love Kills. Crowd dancing and credits. What's this? Producer Brian Whitehouse? Michael Hurll is obviously off tending to Noel Edmonds but where's his usual stand in Gordon Elsbury? He might be off preparing for the new series of Entertainment USA which starts on 1st November. Gordon Elsbury is listed as Producer on Entertainment USA, a nice promotion for him. And who's the Executive Producer? Michael Hurll, oh.

Performance of the week:  Adam Ant, Apollo 9

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