Top of the Pops 10 Sep 1987


Reviewed by Chris Arnsby. Simon Bates: “Thursday night. Welcome to Top of the Pops. We're working our way to Number One just before seven thirty. Here's Peter Powell.”

Peter Powell: “Thank you Simon! And celebrating a massive hit in the States and now in the UK! Heart and Soul! Here's T'Pau!”

 [5] T'PAU: heart and soul. Last time, in the comments, Billy Smart pointed out that [“flame-haired songstress”, © All journalists ever] Carol Decker had problems deciding whether to mime along to the main vocal track or the chanted backing track, and she jumped between the two. It's true. She does have problems choosing a lane and tends to switch depending on which is most prominent. Watching and trying to guess when she'll change becomes mildly hypnotic and maybe there should be some kind of This Way Up drinking game which involves taking a slug every time [“flame-haired temptress”] Carol switches. Now, here's your chance to earn 50,000 pop points by naming another member of T'Pau without using Google. Too late.

T'Pau have, “been in the States, at the moment, for the last ten weeks,” according to Simon Bates. So who did I see two weeks ago on Top of the Pops, Simes?


"Flame haired songstress"

[24] LEVEL 42: it's over. “Oooh baby. I'm leaving you but I feel really really bad about it.Yeah, baby.” A song written from the self-absorbed perspective of the leaver, but I prefer to imagine the other partner mentally checked out of the relationship six months ago and has been having a jolly time shagging the neighbour.

[32] W·A·S·P·: scream until you like it. Today we probe the big questions. Are W·A·S·P· rubbish hair metal, or a parody of rubbish hair metal? You decide. Because I can't tell. The band seem to be setting themselves up to look silly; the lead singer has a Lily Munster-like white stripe in his hair, and one of the guitarists has come dressed as Spinal Tap's Derek Smalls, but is it deliberate? W·A·S·P·are less rubbish than Mötley Crüe, so at least we've got some beginning of structure W·A·S·P·>  Mötley Crüe > KISS.

"raven haired shape pullers"

Geoff Beech is on Lighting, and he lights the drummer by shining a green light in his face. It makes the drummer look like he's going mouldy.

What the heck is Simon Bates talking about at the end of the performance: “... and it's the theme title tune to the sequel to Goonies, Goonies 2 it's called.” What? I'd like to meet and shake the hand of the diabolical fiend on the Top of the Pops production team who keeps feeding the hosts duff information.
Top 40 Charts. The old mix of The Wizard is still being used behind the chart countdown. Songs what I taped off the radio; Karel Fialka, Hey Matthew at [36].

[12] WAX: bridge to your heart. Peter Powell ends the Top 40 countdown with this, “and the highest climber up twenty-four to this week's eleven! Pump Up The Volume! Here's M|A|R|R|S!” Excitement! Have Top of the Pops decided they can't ignore Pump Up The Volume (remember last week when they played terrible non-mover The Cult* instead). Well no because the next song is non-mover Wax. Peter Powell obviously trips over his words, but M|A|R|R|S absence from this week's programme is odd especially as M|A|R|R|S appeared the same week on (you guessed it) The Roxy. So why aren't Top of the Pops playing the highest climber? Well, it could be the video's not ready. Or it could be the BBC has been given the nod about the injunction Stock Aitken Waterman are about to file to stop the single knocking Rick Astley off Number 1 prevent the unauthorised use of a sample from their single Roadblock.


You can see The Roxy performance here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYEipVyMGpU; it's notable for a) containing the Roadblock sample and b) the close up which reveals two of the records being DJ-ed are albums by Simple Minds and The Human League.

But we're not hear to talk about [ctrl-v] M|A|R|R|S. We should be talking about Wax. One of whom has grown a ridiculous beard in the three weeks. It makes him look like Captain Haddock. Building a bridge to your heart is a risky preposition as your first DIY project. Maybe a better first project would be constructing an aqueduct to your appendix.
[29] JONATHAN BUTLER: lies. Speaking of lies, how come one of the backing singers “plays” the saxophone during the introduction and then just waves the instrument around for the rest of the song?

[1] RICK ASTLEY: never gonna give you up. A repeat from all the way back on 13/08/1987. Mr Astley's first appearance.
[4] U2: where the streets have no name. Next week it's Gary and Mike. Here's U2 on video, I always preferred the Pet Shop Boys version.

 The Roxy Playlist (08/09/1987): Studio performances; Depeche Mode, Never Let Me Down Again; Jonathan Butler, Lies; T'Pau, Heart and Soul; M|A|R|R|S, Pump Up the Volume; Black, Wonderful Life; Level 42, It's Over. Plus on video; U2, Where the Streets Have No Name; Fat Boys, Wipe Out; Rick Astley, Never Gonna Give You Up.

Performance of the week: T'Pau, Heart and Soul.

*W·A·S·P·> The Cult> Mötley Crüe > KISS.



1 comment:

  1. Worth noting that this edition was advertised and celebrated as "the first Top of the Pops to be sold to America" - they brought out a cake and everything, by the looks of the below stock photo, with an assemblage of the acts who performed in the UK and Gary Davies (also note ABC's presence, having pre-recorded an imminent appearance alongside a certain Rolling Stone who is conspicuously absent here):

    Though it explains Michael Hurll's brief return on this show that surprisingly hasn't been mentioned here (!), the above is not the best wording for what the USA version of Top of the Pops was. Some of the material filmed as part of the most recent and previous UK shows was simply woven into a new programme, with live performances in a Los Angeles studio introduced by Nia Peeples (which don't start appearing on our TOTP until October), and new links filmed back at TVC with Gary Davies.

    Said new links by Davies were seemingly often recorded on the end of the UK tapes, but with one or two notable exceptions to come, these don't survive on the digitised VT remasters in the Mega.nz folder. The unaired pre-record performances like David Bowie's didn't always either, and questions have been raised on how many still exist. However, some of these were indeed shown on TOTP USA despite not making it here - full recordings of it are very rare, but a clip playlist exists:

    Alas, the USA show was cancelled in March 1988, with Hurll by that point gone and TOTP now under new producer Paul Ciani. Not much seems to have been gained from the shortlived endeavour besides the obvious fact that the US didn't really need the show, and Davies retrospectively made it clear in the 'Story of 1987' documentary that he wasn't best pleased when he never actually got to visit the L.A. studios and be the massive star he probably saw himself as in his mind's eye.