30-07-81: Presenter: Steve Wright (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(23) DURAN DURAN - Girls On Film
(35) KIM WILDE - Water On Glass
(12) DEPECHE MODE – New Life
(36) BILL WYMAN - (Si Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star
(7) ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - Hooked On Classics (danced to by Legs & Co)
(45) THE UNDERTONES - Julie Ocean
(4) STEVIE WONDER - Happy Birthday (video/audience dancing with Legs & Co)
(3) SPANDAU BALLET - Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) (video)
(1) SHAKIN' STEVENS - Green Door ®
(15) THE JACKSONS - Walk Right Now (audience/credits)
Once again for the month of July, prior to broadcast on BBC4 the closing record to accompany the end credits is yet to be identified so as of now the record chosen is questionable. Is it? "Yes it is", proclaims Steve Wright's lapel badge. It's Wright's first TOTP gig for almost a year, not having been seen since co-hosting alongside Cliff Richard, one of the few competent and charming assistants during the distant dual-presenter experiment, in August 1980.
At this early stage in his career, Steve's RP voice is still intact although he does exaggerate the cut glass pronunciation when mentioning the name of the artist which Legs & Co. have been hooked into performing for this week.
Ally a mishmash of classical music segments with a continuous, fast metronomic beat and what do you get? A K-Tel album available from Woolworths. The occasional musical arranger for ELO, Louis Clark teamed up with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which was founded a year after the cessation of World War II, conducting them through sections of familiar classical compositions. Released as the single heard tonight, the first track from Side 1 includes works such as Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture - instantly recognisable from numerous love and romance film and TV sequences - the booming 1812 Overture; Grieg's Piano Concerto conducted not by Andre Preview with Eric Morecambe on the grand one; Handel's Hallelujah; Mozart's Symphony No 40 which was taken to No. 5 in the charts in April 1971 by Waldo De Los Rios. The genre was certainly catchy for a while with even The Two Ronnies basing one of their grand Musical Finales around such a niche by performing 'Clapped Out Classics' as part of The Hendon Symphony Orchestra in their next series. Had the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra managed to get beyond the Green Door, they would have had a Number 1 on their hands but were refused admission for a fortnight in August. The follow-up single reached No.47 - 'Hooked On Can-Can' (Note: that is not an April Fool). With hooks for accessories, logic dictates the occasionally whooping Legs & Co., are deemed the classics.
Were Duran Duran unable to make any of the two TOTP appearances to perform Girls On Film, the first of their three charting singles thus far to breach the Top 10 (at no. 5) would have been a certain choreography contender for Flick because not only was the song Taylor-made for the girls of Legs & Co. but the accompanying video directed by Godley & Creme was deemed too raunchy (and then some) for the BBC and thus was banned. Made with the intention of being aired on nightclub screens, the controversial video was, in unadulterated form, unfit to be screened on the fledgling satellite channel which took to the air two days after the broadcast of this particular Top Of The Pops edition - MTV, which eventually showed a heavily edited version.
They've already performed to two songs from Stevie Wonder's Hotter Than July so, with the time of year an appropriate one, Legs & Co. follow I Ain't Gonna Stand For It and Lately by getting their balloons out to Happy Birthday, the first of two occasions on which they would be given a song titled as such in 1981. The popularizing anthem of a campaign to turn Martin Luther King Jnr's January 15th birthday a marked occasion, the song helped make the venture a successful with the third Monday in January becoming a US Federal holiday from 1986 onward. Although the bulk of the accompanying video is shown, the visuals eventually switch to just over minute of TOTP studio dance activity before moving back for the conclusion. They were having such a good time as well.
Plenty of reverb and strident yet delicate descending chords in the nervy Julie Ocean, a single rearrangement of the brief 090 second track found on The Undertones' third studio LP 'Positive Touch'. With a couple of non-charting singles on the coming couple of years, tonight sees the 10th and final Top Of The Pops appearance by The Undertones, Julie Ocean finishing a single place outside the Top 40.
Next week - August.
Thanks AC. Duran Duran, Kim Wilde, Depeche Mode, Stevie Wonder, Spandau Ballet, Shakin Stevens - this episode isn't exactly bereft of big names. All household artists on any 80's compilation. So this just has to be a good show, he says in high hopes.
Another great preview AC, not a bad show tonight. At least we didn't a lot of these medley tonight. I also see the name of the designer was Tony Burrough. To me that the man who designed K9 and last night he doing a church.
That's another line-up where I've liked everything, ranging from, I didn't know the track, but it was quite good, the Undertones, to the always brilliant Kim Wilde, I guess that, but for the rest nexplicable cutting away from Stevie Wonder's Martin Luther King tribute video to the TOTPs audience, precludes this week from entering this week's best performance vote, as Legs & Co., were clearly seen, also maybe with Shakin' Stevens, I'm certain Rosie was within camera shot part way through.
Speaking of which, that was amazing from the ladies, ballet dancing to a classical medley from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Thanks again AC, as always another great preview which I really enjoyed reading. A great show too, amazing how we get a bit of a naff one last week, and a really good one this week. A great performance from our girls too, and dancing with the audience for part of the Stevie Wonder track, just a pity they weren't on the play out like they were last week.
A good show tonight. Duran Duran were really good and Simon's attire very fetching. Good performance by Kim Wilde but I loathed the song. Bill Wyman's song brought back a lot of memories as I had not heard that since it charted. Legs & Co were good and you could hear them actually cheering on this too. They seemed to be enjoying themselves. Stevie Wonder's song was really good and this should have been No.1. I think if Motown had used its head and released this first instead of Masterblaster it would have been No.1 and also if Masterblaster had been released the same time as this track, it would have got to No.1 as Bob Marley had recently passed away and this song was about him. I felt quite sad with Legs & Co dancing in the audience. Gill did not look too happy and this was when it hit me that I felt they had been relegated to audience duties - to gee up the slackers in the audience. Sue was having a good time. Loved the video to Spandau Ballet and Tony Hadley was so gorgeous looking in this. These really were an excellent group and I would have liked to have seen them live. Shakin' Stevens repeat again did nothing for me. He just had so much make up and it put me off slightly.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
lol - yes the girls were better dancers and I was looking at them more periodically than I would if anyone else had been on. I was looking to see if any of Legs & Co were there and to be honest he should have used them on the floor with him (as Plastic Bertrand did) to take the focus from him because he looked hideous. Yes they all have to wear cosmetics because of the light but the eye make up on him was awful.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.