Top of the Pops 9 Jan 1986

Presented by Chris Arnsby. Mike Smith: “Welcome to the weekly meeting of the BBC hand-clapping society. Good things tonight, including...” Steve Wright: “...oh, including this band down here. Wonderful Feargal Sharkey, You Little Thief. Go ahead.” Mike Smith: “Nice bunch of boys.”

[26] Feargal Sharkey: You Little Thief. This is the song previously seen on BBC1's Noel Edmonds Live Christmas Day Morning Up The Post Office Tower (working title). The reasonably famous cockup involving Feargal Sharkey and band performing in a 747 flying at 2500 feet over London. It was billed as the World's First In Flight Pop Performance but actually became the world's first in flight footage of a band enthusiastically miming while Feargal Sharkey shrugs and silently mouths something (presumably a variation of “I can't hear anything”) at an off screen peon. They had a second go later in the programme and got it right, and that's the story of how Noel Edmonds saved Christmas 1985. You Little Thief may be the jauntiest angry pop song ever. It's essentially a list of insults to the unnamed person who appears to have stolen Feargal's Good Heart. That relationship clearly didn't end well.

 “Looking so much like Michael Heseltine,” is Steve Wright's oblique comment. The Westland helicopter affair (ask your grandad) was reaching a climax at the time and this episode of Top of the Pops was recorded on Wednesday, but broadcast on the day Michael Heseltine resigned from cabinet (also ask your grandad about the days when politicians resigned on matters of principle; little bit o'politics there, etc). (John- Chris, nobody who reads this blog is as young as that! If they were I’d be posting Bernie Sanders sea shanties and not splling props innit)


[27] Full Force: Alice I Want You Just For Me. On video. Six clots who each think they are Prince, but aren't. The song includes the terrible lyric, “Baby, I'm your carpenter, please let me lay your tile.” If you've asked a carpenter to install tiles then I worry about the state of your bathroom. If Full Force are committed to making to a rhyming triplet with Style and While then I'd like to pitch some alternatives that are not rubbish.
Baby I'm your builder, won't you let me lay your tile (factually accurate).
Baby I'm your carpeter, please let me lay your pile (problematic, I don't think carpeter is a real job title).
Baby I'm your crocodile please let me swim your Nile (exotic).

[23] Jennifer Rush: Ring Of Ice. I've got nothing, sorry*.(Fact John- Let me. The Jennifer Rush hit that is not `The Power of Love` was actually the single before her signature song. In the song she has a ring of ice around her heart either because she is a poor skater or more probably because she is lonely. Yet in just a few months time she will be ready for the power of love. Good old Jens)

Top 40 Countdown. A quick in memorandum from Mike Smith for American Rock and Roll star Ricky Nelson and Phill Lynott who died on 4th January 1986.

Top 40 Breakers: [31] Top 40 Breakers: Mr Mister, Broken Wings; [30] Dire Straits, Walk of Life.

[34] King: Torture. It's the band of 1985 making their last ever Top of the Pops appearance. It's King-by-the-numbers. Paul King does lots of angular movements and exaggerated dance moves. The stage is more notable. Designer Paul Joel is conducting some sort of experiment to see how many rotating light poles he can fit onto a single stage before even Michael Hurll complains it's a bit much. King may occasionally be glimpsed in the midst of the flickering mass.

[20] Sting: Russians. On video.

Top 10 Countdown.

[1] Pet Shop Boys: West End Girls. In my memory the Pet Shop Boys appeared out of nowhere, then disappeared for a bit and came back with It's A Sin in 1987. We'll see how accurate my memory actually is over the next few months.It's already looking a bit wonky. I've got no memory of their two appearances in December 1985, which put paid to my memory that the Pet Shop Boys sprang into the number 1 slot from nowhere. I might have been elsewhere at 7pm on Thursday in December (I was probably off playing Elite on the ZX Spectrum) but it's unlikely I was lured away to watch Floyd On Fish on BBC2.

[25] Aretha Franklin: Who’s Zoomin’ Who. Audience dancing and credits.

Performance of the week: West End Girls is the better song, but Feargal Sharkey puts on a better display with lots of energetic leaping around. It's Feargal Sharkey, You Little Thief.
*apart from a really crass joke about Jennifer Rush's ring of ice, and how she should get the radiator fixed in her bathroom. I'm so sorry.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty sure West End Girls in fact spent most of late 1985 positively crawling its way to number 1.