Top of the Pops 6 August 1987


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Gary Davies: “Hello again. Welcome to Top of the Pops. Something of a girls night out on the show tonight because we've got Sinitta, we've got Samantha, and we've also got Spagnia, but first we start with a song at number seven in the charts. Not only singing live but also playing live, here's New Order, True Faith.”

[7] New Order: True Faith. Now this is odd. Last week Gary Davies didn't mention who was hosting the show. Now, here he is again, but BBC Genome (who draw their information from the relevant issue Radio Times) describe tonight's show as “introduced by Peter Powell and Simon Bates.” They'll actually do the 13/08/1987 edition which the Radio Times describes as “introduced by Gary Davies”. Last time there was a short notice change of host it was because Janice Long cancelled because of her pregnancy. Here there's no obvious reason for the change apart from a brief game of musical chairs.

New Order are back singing live and playing live. Do you think that's wise? Remember what happened last time? Actually, this performance is fine. The only real point of interest is the mannequin set up at the back of the stage for some reason. Gary Davies claims it's a bloke called Terry, from France, who is also in the video. Gary, I think the band have been pulling your leg.


[23] Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram: Somewhere Out There. On video.

[22] Sinitta: Toy Boy. Sinitta is struggling a little with her hip-tight miniskirt. There's at least one occasion when it requires a discrete pull down to avoid Sinitta becoming the Jo Grant of Top of the Pops. Her two dancers don't have the same problem, they've been sensibly dressed in lycra shorts.

Back announcing the song, Gary Davies claims Sinitta will be appearing in her ever film in November. No she won't. Leaving aside that she's already appeared in Shock Treatment (1981) and Foreign Body (1986), IMDB is pretty clear that her next appearance will be, oh god, a 1988 edition of The Little and Large Show.

Top 40 Charts

[29] Samantha Fox: I Surrender. On video. Gary Davies gives the song it's full title, I Surrender (To The Spirit Of The Night) but it's truncated on the caption. The song is Number One in five countries according to Gary Davies, but not Wikipedia who state it's highest chart position was [4] in Spain. Is someone feeding Gary Davies deliberately wrong information tonight? First we had “Terry”, then Sinitta's first film, and now this.

Top 40 Breakers. [31] Wet Wet Wet, Sweet Little Mystery; [28] Motley Crue, Girls Girls Girls; [16] Def Leppard, Animal.

[8] Spagna: Call Me. “She comes from Verona in Italy.” Well, she was born near Verona, Gary. (Pop Fact: Valeggio sul Mincio, 16 miles from Verona). This is quite accurate, but with what incorrect fact has he been primed for afterwards? Perhaps we will be told Spagna arrived at Television Centre in a small cart pulled by Alsatians, or that her Father invented the Caps Lock key (John- This is a true fact actually), or that she refrigerates rubber bands to make them last longer? No, we are told her song has “already been number one in five countries.” Has it Gary? Is it really? [checks Wikipedia again, learns the song got to Number 1 in Spain and nowhere else]. (John- It was a good thing Gary was not given an important job to do in the world)

Top 10 Charts.
[1] Los Lobos: La Bamba.
On video. Is this the song you were thinking of Gary? The song that really has been Number 1 in more than five countries. (John- I remember someone claimed La Bamba means `The Goat`. In fact it has no translation into English, its just the name of a dance. However translate some of the other lyrics and you end up with the curious line “I’m not a sailor, I am a Captain”)

[17] Stock Aitken & Waterman: Roadblock. “Next week on Top of the Pops it's Peter Powell and Simon Bates,” who are Number One in five countries.

 The Roxy Playlist (04/07/1987): Westworld, Where The Action Is; Spagna, Call Me; Freddie McGregor, I Just Don't Want To Be Lonely; Echo & The Bunnymen, Lips Like Sugar; Kim Wilde, Say You Really Want Me; Los Lobos, La Bamba.

 Performance of the week: New Order, True Faith.

"I'm not a sailor, I am a Captain"



1 comment:

  1. Not entirely certain on this, but it's probable that Gary Davies' unexplained appearance this week has something to do with him being primed for his imminent involvement in the shortlived USA version of Top of the Pops, effectively chosen as the most presentable of the Radio 1 family to show to all the Americans. That version didn't start until September, but preparations were surely well underway by this point; Michael Hurll oversaw lots of it, which may also be the reason for his absence around this time.

    It's worth keeping in mind that the existence of the USA's TOTP is additionally part of why Davies is a co-host of all but five UK editions from September to the end of 1987 - he was in the studio week in, week out anyway, recording links and chart rundowns for both versions. The fact that The Roxy initially had only two regular presenters, Kevin Sharkey and David Jensen, is thought to partly explain his and (to a lesser extent) Mike Smith's near-total omnipresence on TOTP during this era too.