Again, for me this week, I liked all of the acts, I'll just convey some observations.
Simon Bates, for once gets a chart prediction correct, when he said that Soft Cell, were to have "a massive hit" with their debut single.
That was an amazing coincidence, that two different "medley" tracks, both by acts with somewhat similar names, shared the same singles chart position.
This week, one of them, Startrax added themselves to the growing list of acts of that nature, but at least, to my knowledge, the BeeGees, hadn't been done before, & Legs & Co., certainly gave us some amazing visuals to go with, the (almost) soundalike vocals.
Anneka, was great with her debut single, & at least none of those oriental style paper lanterns had splits in them, unlike one of those used as props for a certain Legs & Co. dance routine.
Thanks for another interesting preview AC.
On the whole a reasonable mixed bag, although some of the two black and white video clips had oddly disturbing elements to them. A double helping of Legs, with their backing dance certainly not in the background, was nice and while this might have been the last time a 'proper' routine featured all six girls there are still a couple of belters, and an absolute smasher, to come, even if lost raincoats or sprained fetlocks had reduced the field.
Ive noticed quite a few of the Popscene regulars on their weekly poll have suggested that this particular edition was not up to much at all, one even described it has the worst show so far in in 1981. Then on our poll a couple of our guys are saying what a good show it was. My take on it was it looked good on paper (an old fashioned saying that) but once viewed, it did disappoint slightly.
Ive said before about Duran Duran that it peaked for me at `Planet Earth`, and i didn't care for them after that. What a come down for the orchestra, having Legs dancing to it was so much better than the monochrome montages that were used in the video on the show. I do like Marc Almonds voice, but this particular song did get very boring back then. I much preferred `Say Hello, Wave Goodbye` to this.
The middle of the show was fine with both Old Bill and Young Kim delivering decent enough tunes. The Popscene guys i mentioned seem to hate the Startrax thing, but hopefully not our dancers, but they still didn't vote for it.
Another tune that got played to death back then was the Scottish/Jappo Aneka, but at least she will be backed up by 5 Legs ladies once it hits number one. I thought the ELO video to be a total mess and their best days had come and gone with the onset of the 1980s. Shaky was bearable enough, and a fine tune to end the show. But just how dated and unsuitable to the roll of host does Simon Bates look. Amazing how he kept that position until 1987.
The ELO video cost £40,000 and at the time was the most expensive promo video ever made. It kinda coincides with the launch of MTV which was on 1 August 1981, and it's evidence and proof of the value of the promo video that record companies are starting to commit to.
Climate Crisis: This planet's getting hotter than Lulu
Bates actually lasted until 1988 when he was in his early 40s. I didn't vote for the Startrax medley not because of legs but if anyone has already seen the 27-8-81 edition you will be put off the track forever.
For those a bit slow on the uptake, like me, what did Simon Bates mean during his intro to the Bill Wyman song. He says and i quote "i wouldn't gossip but on the other hand i might imagine the lady who hes singing about could just be Nicaraguan". Am i missing something blindingly obvious here, cause i though the lady in the song was Brazilian.
While we are at it, doesn't Mr Wyman have a bit of form in sleeping with a well known 14 year old girl (who of course he later married) a few years after this. Just reading on the net he first took a shine to her when she was just 13. Funny how some folk just get away with things and others like DLT get crucified for much less.
Another edition firmly entrenched in its decade. Even the famous bassist was playing a synth and Jeff Lynne had had a haircut. Novelty records notwithstanding this was the last great era of pop music for me.
Hooked On Classics: Was there ever a greater disparity between routine and promo video?
Little doubt for me that 'random' Alex had been rehearsing. You could tell he knew what moves Gill was going to do.
Thanks once again for a very informative preview AC, I enjoyed this episode too and found the Hooked on Classics vid fascinatingly eccentric and non-PC. Who on Earth played Pogo Polo? What was with the "my knickers fell off but I'm still dancing darn it" clip? Some really good songs here though and I agree with Vin about the rather incongruous danceability of the UB40 protest song. A bit like a Country song about winning the National Lottery. One thing that surprises me a bit is how popular the Aneka song is on here but as we've said before taste is a funny thing...
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
I wonder how Aneka felt about being outed as a Scot? There again it's implicit in the song that she's of another culture and is therefore just looking the part out of love and gimmick. I mean, Bonnie Tyler would never release a record with lyrics:
'Mister can you tell me where my love has gone?/
He's a Welsh Boy'!
This was quite a good show and one I can vaguely remember when it aired. Enjoyed the RPO and Soft Cell. Considering I have the Legs & Co dance in my collection, this was the first time I had seen it. Loved Aneka and this brought back memories as I purchased this for my Nan in that week as she loved it. Enjoyed ELO's video and the Shakin' Stevens performance was a lot better than last week. I would have hoped that the make-up artist had been fired after last week's look. This week he looked fantastic as did the girls in their lovely green dresses. This was the first time I had seen this and they certainly complemented him. Enjoyed UB40's track too - very ideal for that time of the decade. Simon Bates went a bit wrong with Bad Manners and also the arrows were incorrect again. All told though it was a good show.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.