Top of the Pops 8 Jan 1987


Words: Chris Arnsby. Gary Davies: “Hi. How ya doin'? I hope you're well. Welcome to another Top of the Pops. Busy programme as always for you tonight. We've got music from The Pretenders, Lionel Richie, the Gap Band, but first we start off with a new entry at number thirty eight. Here's Swing Out Sister, Surrender.” 

[38] Swing Out Sister: Surrender. Corinne Drewery has decided to wear the complicated Z-fold jacket from her 06/11/1986 performance. Also making a return is the 1970s style vignette effect, showing a brief close up of Corrine superimposed over a wide shot of the studio; as if she's a Blake's 7 villain menacing the crew of the Liberator. The Vision Mixer is Kathryn Randall but the same effect popped up last week when Priscilla Hoadley stepped in. It's like old switch has been uncovered on the control panel revealing a lost world of forgotten effects. Has someone finally moved a full ash tray or a mouldy old cup of BBC tea?

Gary Davies unwisely matches a white shirt and multi-coloured tie with blue jeans, offset by a Top Gun brown leather flight jacket. The whole ensemble looks ridiculous. Also, while we're talking clothes; check out the fashion victim at the back of the stage wearing a white jacket, white shirt, white trousers, and white shoes. The seventies are that way, dude. Unless... oh no Marty Hopkirk's been murdered by gangsters and only I can see him. Only I.
[24] Lionel Richie: Ballerina Girl. On video.
[9] The Gap Band: Big Fun. A repeat from the 18/12/1986 edition. Tonight we really are going back to the seventies. Repeat performances fell out of favour when videos became more frequent but they are another old trick the show had to relearn when The Housemartins couldn't make it to the studio for their one week at Number 1. When Caravan of Love was repeated Top of the Pops had some (very) minor technical issues overlaying the new Number 1 caption on top of the previous caption, which was burned into the master tape. This time they've remembered how things were done in the olden days and started The Gap Band's performance after the original caption has faded. They'd need to start the tape a bit later to hide Mike Smith who was the host on 18/12/1986 and introduced The Gap Band first time round.

Smitty can be briefly glimpsed in the background of a reverse shot of The Gap Band which looks across the studio. So despite his unresolved contract dispute with the BBC he does finally make it into the BBC4 repeat run.

Top 40 Charts. Highest new entry at [18], Steve Silk Hurley with Jack Your Body. It's playing in the background for most of Gary Davies introductions but otherwise not mentioned. If you follow a strict interpretation of the Top of the Pops “rules” it's clearly deserving of play (it's the highest new entry). Is Top of the Pops ignoring a style of music they perceive as difficult (like they did with punk and rap) or is the video not ready yet?

[19] The Pretenders: Hymn To Her. On video.
Top 40 Breakers: [36] Iggy Pop, Real Wild Child (Wild One); [32] Robbie Nevil, C'est La Vie.
[31] Paul Simon: The Boy In the Bubble. On video. Paul's seen that Sledgehammer video on MTV and would like something similar, without all the tiresome lying around on the floor while Aardman do stop motion around you.
Top 10 Charts.
[1] Jackie Wilson: Reet Petite. Also on video. Imagine being in the audience for this edition; Swing Out Sister and then 25 minutes of watching playback on the studio monitors.
[14] Genesis: Land of Confusion. A plug for the new series of Entertainment USA on BBC2 at 9pm and then, to the continued strains of Jack Your Body, Gary Davies introduces the third showing of a video for a song which hasn't moved in the chart this week. Did I mention Jack Your Body was the highest new entry? But enough of inventing conspiracy theories that the BBC didn't know how to deal with house music, the background to the closing credits remains the same as last week.
Performance of the Week: Well it has to be Swing Out Sister, Surrender. There were no other non-repeat studio performances.



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