Top of the Pops 25 September 1986

Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Janice Long. “Hello. On the show tonight, in the studio, we've got Loose Ends and we've got Darryl Pandy. On video we've got Huey Lewis, we've got Genesis, and we've also got Run DMC. We've brought the girls in, soon to be appearing at a venue near you because they're on tour, here are Amazulu, Montego Bay.”

[23] Amazulu: Montego Bay. Derek Slee is again credited as Lighting Director this week, he seems to be on rotation with Fred Wright. Top of the Pops normally uses big slabs of colour (purple, blue and red) to light the studio but this week Derek's decided to ring the changes. Amazulu are on the main studio stage and it's lit in a much more colourful way with greens and yellows thrown into the mix. The intensity of the lights is also dialled back, and the result is a studio with a colourful background rather than one that's shaded in moody violets (wasn't that the name of a band?). It's good. The studio looks more like a funfair and it suits the bouncy and fun feel of the song.



[15] Huey Lewis & The News: Stuck With You. On video.

[10] Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk: Love Can’t Turn Around. Darryl Pandy is back in the studio. This is good news. The question is, can he top his previous performance?

Yes he can. The hat goes first, flying into the audience on the first chorus. I like to hope someone, somewhere, still owns it and no one believes their story of how they got it. Next goes a shoe, followed by its pair at the start of the second chorus.

This seems to be the point in the song for Darryl to start improvising. “Work, work your body,” he yells at the crowd, and they whoop back. It takes a little while for them to realise that Darryl wants them to repeat back his words and by the time the audience gets it, Darryl is bored. “BBC you are the best!” he yells. “Top of the Pops!” And then it's on to greeting the audience. “How y'all doin' up there?” Then suddenly we're back on the “work, work your body,” call and response. Darryl is in a mercurial mood. At the end of the song, like last time, Darryl throws himself down on the stage. When this happened on the 04/09/1986 programme the Vision Mixer had cut from the traditional end-of-song-wide-studio shot to a hasty he's-all-right-folks close-up, to show Darryl's collapse was theatrics and not a medical emergency. This time Vision Mixer Carol Abbot is ready. A handheld camera operator is on stage to catch the best angle of Darryl going down and the delighted/shocked reaction of the front row. “I think I'm just about done,” he says. Appropriately, the end of song caption is an animated stick figure break dancing.

Top 40 Charts.

[22] Genesis: In Too Deep. On video. “Phil Collins is definitely the sort of bloke that my mum would like me to take home,” reveals Janice.
Top 40 Breakers: [26] Paul Simon, You Can Call Me Al; [24] Marti Webb, Always There; [19] Big Country, One Great Thing.
[29] Loose Ends: Slow Down. “The best soul band in the United Kingdom.” I can't offer an opinion on the songs but the clothes are remarkable; particularly the oversized zoot suits worn by the men.

Top 10 Charts
[1] The Communards: Don’t Leave Me This Way.
Unusually for this phase of Top of the Pops this is a repeat of last week's performance and not the video. More surprisingly, that's the one where Jimmy Somerville and Sarah Jane Morris mime each others vocals and openly mock the conventions of the programme. Michael Hurll must be in a forgiving mood, although if I was choosing a performance to repeat it would be the multi-stage one from 04/09/1986. It's more epic.
[8] Run D.M.C: Walk This Way. On video. Mike Smith next week. And the background to the closing credits is... a blurred close-up of blue and purple neon scenery.

Performance of the Week:  Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk: Love Can’t Turn Around. I can choose it twice if I want to.


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