Top of the Pops 31 Jan 1985

Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Janice Long: "Hello and welcome to Top of the Pops. Tonight it's a wee bit shorter than usual but there's loads and loads of stuff in it." Peter Powell: " And for starters a band who you must look out for in 85! They're going to be so big! They're called the Big Sound Authority and this is This House!" 
[36] Big Sound Authority: This House (Is Where Your Love Stands). A 30 minute edition, as opposed to the standard 40. Top of the Pops is cut short by evening coverage  of the Benson and Hedges Masters second quarter-final of boring old snooker. But that's not all! The unbreakable back-to-back pairing of Tomorrow's World and Top of the Pops has been broken asunder. Top of the Pops has come adrift and is currently going out as late as it ever did; 7.50pm in the evening! Paul Daniels' quiz Odd One Out is awkwardly inserted between Tomorrow's World and Top of the Pops. In this schedule Paul Daniels is the odd one out. And what's going to happen when the six week run of Odd One Out comes to an end? Stay tuned! Big Sound Authority are destined not to be as big in 85 as Peter Powell predicted. I'm surprised this song hasn't been used as the soundtrack to a building society advert.

[21] Art Of Noise: Close (To The Edit). Shockingly the Wikipedia entry for this song is inaccurate! It makes the wild claim that the single reached number 8 by November of 1984; which actually manages to do a disservice to the most boring band in the world Chicago, who really occupied that slot with Hard Habit To Break. I haven't heard much Art Of Noise. Apart from Kiss, with Tom Jones, and the theme to The Krypton Factor. This performance seems pretty much in line with those two pieces of music; lot's of synthesiser stabs, samples, and that bit that goes "dum, dum, dah-dum, dum, dum, dum-dum, dum, dum, dum, tra-la-lah." (Fact John- It edits together samples from several sources including  the Yes songs `Leave it` and `Owner of a Lonely Heart` as they share a producer in Trevor Horn and its title from the Yes album `Close to the Edge`. The “hey” bit is a sample from The Prodigy’s `Firestarter`)

Charmingly this is all dutifully transcribed by the BBC subtitler, I guess on the not unreasonable grounds that someone is pretending to sing it. Although personally I disagree with their claim that the line goes "dum, dum, dum-dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, tra-la-la." Michael Hurll makes the decision to mix the studio performance with the video. The first time this has been done for a band, I think, although I'm sure a couple of Zoo dance routines had the music video mixed in. 
Top 40 Breakers: A new feature for 1985. Three short clips from the videos of Bryan Adams -Run To You [18], Phil Collins –Sussudio [19], Pat Benatar –We Belong [25], and The Commodores –Nightshift [32].

These have all been designated Breakers. Whatever that means. They are not songs which have just broken into the Top 40, or the highest climbers. Top 40 Breakers are apparently just songs which Michael Hurll has designated as Top 40 Breakers. Of course the real purpose behind the Top 40 Breakers is to squeeze as many different songs as possible into the programme. Useful if, for example, Top of the Pops was about to be reduced to a 30 minute show as part of an overhaul of BBC1 by the new Controller 
[31] The Colour Field: Thinking Of You. A proto-Beautiful South with a lead singer who looks distractingly like Terry Hall. *fake edit* Actually it is Terry Hall according to Wikipedia, assuming their entry for The Colour Field is more accurate than the one for Close (To The Edit). That's embarrassing for me because all through The Colour Field's performance I did nothing but boggle at how much the lead singer looked like Terry Hall without realising it was him.  This is what, his third band now? Terry, I think you may have commitment issues.

[10] Bruce Springsteen: Dancing In The Dark. The Top 10 countdown starts with the full video for Dancing In The Dark. Watch out for Courtney Cox (star of Masters of the Universe, If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium, and Cocoon: The Return) as Dancing Woman. (John- I love the way this song suddenly reveals Bruce is writing a book. Presumably not in the dark.) 
[9] Madonna: Like A Virgin. Going down. (John- Oo, missus) 
[8] Russ Abbot: Atmosphere. Russ Abbot likes a party with an oxygen atmosphere. 
[7] Strawberry Switchblade: Since Yesterday. Also going down.

[6] Ashford & Simpson: Solid. Going up.
5] Tears For Fears: Shout. Also, also going down. 
[4] King: Love & Pride. No idea. I think I remember the hair more than the singer or the song. 
[3] Prince: 1999. POP-LIE: If you brought Prince's album in 1985 on the new compact disc format, it cost £19.99. 
[2] Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson: I Know Him So Well. From Chess, or possibly Cats, or a different musical about cats playing chess. (John- It’s from Chess. Cats is the one about cats). 
[1] Foreigner: I Want To Know What Love Is. No audience dancing this week. The shorter running time means the credits roll over the Foreigner's video. 
Performance of the week: Art Of Noise: Close (To The Edit)

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