04-06-81: Presenter: Richard Skinner (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(29) SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES – Spellbound
(2) SHAKIN' STEVENS – You Drive Me Crazy ®
(13) KATE ROBBINS & BEYOND – More Than In Love
(40) SQUEEZE - Is That Love?
(43) IMAGINATION – Body Talk
(4) THE JAM – Funeral Pyre (video)
(12) MICHAEL JACKSON – One Day In Your Life (danced to by Legs & Co)
(8) TOYAH – I Want To Be Free (video)
(44) PHIL COLLINS - If Leaving Me Is Easy
(1) ADAM & THE ANTS - Stand & Deliver (video)
(23) ODYSSEY - Going Back To My Roots (audience dancing/credits)
From an all fours position, the fetishistic Siouxsie Sioux gets proceedings underway with a whole heap of microphone flex suitable for either lassoing the spellbound audience with or for safe/unsafe entwining fun and games with her fellow bleach blonde bandmates. As mentioned in Richard Skinner's intro, the galloping Spellbound marked a rare studio appearance by Siouxsie & The Banshees - at the time their third following on from one for Playground Twist in '79 and one to perform Happy House in the Spring of 1980 - however eight forther TOTP appearances would ensue. Coming in for special praise was the finger-picking downward scale guitar playing of John McGeoch (non blonde) adding complimentary mystique to Steven Severin's bass. Having joined the band appropriately on their Join Hands tour in 1979, drummer Budgie completes the all-round cohesion noted upon throughout the album from which Spellbound was taken - Juju. From Juju it was 22 in the charts for Spellbound.
Sir Paul Mccartney's cousin Kate Robbins teamed up with Beyond, a five-man group which had participated in the 1981 Song For Europe event, finishing in third place with 'Wish', to cut and record the love song More Than In Love which was produced by Barry Leng and Simon 'Howard's Way'/'Eastenders' May, a record which was kept from the top spot only by that giant of Motown, Smokey Robinson and his Being With You chart-topper. More Than In Love originated in soap-opera land when the talented actress, comedienne, singer and songwriter played a chanteuse also named Kate who was spotted performing the song in a Birmingham nightclub.
Speaking of soap, the sight of a wedding ring beside a bar of one inspired Squeeze guitarist Chris Difford to pen the happy-go-lucky lyrics to Is This Love? , the side b opener and first single to be taken from East Side Story, their fourth studio LP. The Costello-sounding closing piano piece was composed and performed by Elvis himself - in the recording studio and overseeing the sessions as co-producer. Costello was Tempted to provide an additional brief backing vocal on the second single taken from the LP and released in July. A Number 1 in Israel, Is That Love? faltered slightly surprisingly at No. 35 in the UK.
No prizes for guessing what Phil Collins keeps beside his bar of soap...that infernal tin of paint, always there to remind him and us once again that his wife packed her bags and left him for a painter and decorator. On the record, which reached No.17, Eric Clapton provides guitar. While on tour in 1985, Phil Collins removed the song from his set-list after becoming exasperated at the audience reaction of yells and screams whenever the song was performed because Collins felt it warranted a background of complete silence...
Better than 'urinating themselves laughing' which is a paraphrased portion of the lyrics to The Jam's Funeral Pyre and certain to be omitted in one way or another from the accompanying video which was shot on Horsell Common, Woking where the sand pits have become a pilgrimage for sci-fi fans thanks to their mention as a location setting in H.G. Wells' War Of The Worlds late 19th Century novel. Evolving from a studio jam (ha!) between Rick Buckler furiously the driving drums along and bassist Bruce Foxton, Funeral Pyre reached No.4 in the UK.
If Michael Jackson sounds a tad high on One Day In Your Life, that's because the song was recorded back in 1974 and released on his 1975 LP 'Forever, Michael' Cashing in on the phenomenal success of Off the Wall, Motown Records cashed in by releasing a compilation featuring mid-70's recordings entitled the same as the record danced tonight by Legs & Co. The song would interrupt Smokey Robinson's Being With You's fortnightly stay at the top of the UK Charts and thus provide Motown with back-to-back No.1's for four weeks in the summer of 1981.
I saw Phil being interviewed by Sara Cox a few weeks ago and he denied that he was having a dig at his ex. He said that he was offered flash looking props and instruments but wanted something a bit more down to earth so the studio crew went to the other extreme adding cheap looking stuff that was close at hand. In his first appearance his keyboard is on top of a Black and Decker Workmate.
Is this the Imagination performance where Leee John turned up wearing very baggy shorts and nothing underneath ? His swaying dance portraying him rather more graphically than the Director was prepared to accept, causing an apoplectic Michael Hurl to leave the gallery and come onto the studio floor ordering Leee to “Put a Jockstrap On”.
This looks like a much stronger line-up of acts, than of late, really spoiled only by Phil Collins, & the Jam, as great as they both are, these tracks didn't really do anything worthwhile for me, especially Phil's track, which had be fighting off fatigue thoughout, & how wrong can Richard Skinner have been, no way Jose, a #1.
I like feisty females, & Siouxie & the Banshees, & Toyah, were amazing.
Legs & Co., similarly provided a fantastic performance, representing the visuals for Michael Jackson, that's how Legs & Co., were meant to do things!
Not as enjoyable a selection as earlier in the week, or indeed last weeks offering, but the early evening repeat I caught was saved by seven young ladies. The six dancers, of whom more when the appropriate comments thread arrives, and young Toyah, getting all worked up as her parents dissapproved of her hair dye choice!
Now I have to say that uranium orange would not be popular in this household, but youth must have its fling and what a fling it was. Now that is how to enhance a song with an appropriate piece of VT. Absolutely excellent. My upbeat mood was then dampened a little by PC (what an utter wet blanket that bloke is) only to be galvanised by the leaping highwayman. Whether it was seeing a longer version I'm not sure but the number one has grown on me all of a sudden!
An excellent show really all round. Enjoyed majority of those songs. Siouxsie & Banshees were fab. Shakin Stevens was really good with his dancing and his lovely pink jacket. Remember the Kate Robbins track well but did not know she was Paul McCartney's cousin. Found the Richard Skinner remark funny when he passed comment on Imagination. I was never really taken with them when they launched. Legs & Co were good as the Michael Jackson track was one of my all time favourites of his. Motown went into overdrive this time of year and released a compilation of his Motown hits here and in America "18 greatest hits" and it did quite well. Toyah was equally fantastic and Phil Collins was really good too. Always thought he released the wrong song though and this was album material. Leave Me Alone should have been issued as a single instead as this was really heartfelt but instead he gave this one to Frida from Abba for her solo album Something's Going On.
Richard Skinner really did dance well with the girls.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
Richard Skinner really did dance well with the girls.
Hmm not so sure on that. The tyrant executive producers edict about forcing these presenters to dance in this case looked blooming awful to my eyes. Could be im looking at it from a post Yewtree standpoint, but 30 year old blokes dancing and giggling with 16 year old gals doesn't make for easy viewing. Though at the the time i wouldn't have given it a second glance.
I can just about stomach all the cheesy intros and all the hands on stuff that occurs in them, but having to watch people like Bates smooching away with his pre-ordered audience girl and Skinner dad-dancing with half a dozen poppettes ain't good. I told you the party atmos wont sit pretty with me.
It's become typical of the BBC that they faded out the Jam video just before the song title gets its first mention... Apart from that, Funeral Pyre is probably the weakest Jam single of their later years.
An excellent show, just the Phil Collins track I didn't like. Squeeze deserved much higher than 35 and Spellbound is my favourite track by the Banshees. Would be curious to see the Kate Robbins' Crossroads episodes.