01-10-81: Presenter: MIKE READ (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(7) THE TWEETS - Birdie Song (Birdie Dance) (danced to by Legs & Co)
(6) GODLEY & CREME – Under Your Thumb
(37) SHEENA EASTON - Just Another Broken Heart ®
(25) THE TEARDROP EXPLODES - Passionate Friend
(34) THE CREATURES - Mad Eyed Screamer
(3) OTTAWAN - Hands Up (Give Me Your Heart) (danced to by Legs & Co) ®
(32) TOYAH – Thunder In The Mountains
(30) BAD MANNERS - Walking In The Sunshine (video)
(48) ALTERED IMAGES - Happy Birthday
(28) GIDEA PARK - Seasons Of Gold (backed by Legs & Co)
(19) DOLLAR - Hand Held In Black & White ®
(1) ADAM AND THE ANTS - Prince Charming (video)
(38) TIGHT FIT - Back To The 60's (Part II) (audience dancing/credits)
It's October. October 1981. A notable date in the Legs & Co. because it marks the 5th anniversary of their inception, introduced by Ed Stewart with a request for viewers to suggest a name for them...postcards only. Bravo for reaching the milestone, one which is unfortunately marked by them finally being phased out after a few months of easing them on their way. The show tonight paints a fine picture of where and how Legs & Co. were utilised across the board and the way they (were) fitted into late '81 Top Of The Pops including, thanks to a welcome repeat routine from a recent Yewtreed edition, their true and intended modus operandi.
Says Sue matter-of-factly in The Story Of 1981 about the curtain coming down, "One of our final performances as a group was to the Birdie Song" This slightly ignominious alliance with an excruciating piece of noise, as featured on "The Story...", opens the show tonight but although Sue was quite correct as to final group performance identification, there's a further (!) occasion in 2 weeks/1 days time when Legs & Co. have to go through the motions of acting out birds operating their beaks, flapping their wings and shaking their nether regions. Although the Patti Platoon will be pleased to see her back, their deity might have wondered whether her return was all that wise. However, Lulu drops out for a week, which leaves Gill in the awkward position of performing the actions to an empty space when it comes to Legs & Co. partnering up.
Hands Up, those who are slightly pleased that one of the warmer climate dance routines from 1981 finally manages to escape the Yewtree cocoon to hatch out on BBC4.
For this particular routine, Legs & Co. make it patently clear which part of the anatomy ought to be parked on the armchair to concentrate fully on their foray into the Wild West as pistol-firing showgirls parading before an active audience kitted out in stetsons. The decision to fade the mics up is, in this instance a wise one as all the whoops, cheers and claps are a boon to the atmosphere. There's Patti...oh, hang on, that's Anita doubling for Patti which serves as a reminder this routine is a shortened repeat from last month which accounts for the presence of Lulu who engages in a spot of "Which one am I?" deceit with Rosie. Hands Up (Give Me Your Heart) gave Ottawan a No.3 Chart success, and as their Christmas release 'Help Get Me Some Help' finished just inside the Top 50, it was the final hit for Jean Patrick Baptiste and Annette No-known-surname.
Seasons Of Gold had risen to No.28 so, for what turned out to be a single week breaching the Top 30, Gidea Park earned a TOTP recall. However, with the bulk of Gidea Park currently on the other side of the globe, it was left to Adrian Baker and his amazing head of hair to represent the act. To save on the transatlantic air-fares, the BBC put some meat to the bones of his presence by getting Legs & Co. to provide a little dance assistance while still in their dressing room mini-robes. At first glance, it appears the troupe, stationed on a platform at the rear of the studio, may just as well have stayed in their sanctuary for all the attention they seem to be receiving, thanks to the arrangement of audience encircling the act. However, progression eventually shows a breakaway faction loyal to the girls up on stage.
Taking a look at the wild things, The Creatures are a guitar-less version of Siouxsie & The Banshees, represented as they are by Miss Soiux herself and tweet drummer Budgie, unprofessionally known as Peter Edward Clarke. In at No.34. Mad Eye Screamer is a tribal track used to represent their Wild Things E.P. which stemmed from Banshees sessions for their fourth LP Juju upon the realisation that one of the tracks up for consideration, 'But Not Them', worked well enough with drums and vocals alone. A separate studio session followed suit taking the tally to five, enough tracks for an Extended Play rather than a Long one.
Banshees guitarist Steve Severin was familiar with the New Wave Glaswegian act Altered Images having been the support act for Siouxsie & The Banshees when on tour. Indeed, Severin produced the bulk of their debut album Happy Birthday...with one exception - the title track! Happy Birthday would go on to be their biggest hit, spending three weeks at No.2. On the first of those weeks, Legs & Co would provide backing to Clare Grogan & crew - on their last show, Happy Birthday indeed.
Thanks as always to S4E and LF.
There's an edit just before the section where sharp-shootin' Sue goes into a spin before taking out a couple of ceiling lights with her pistols. As a result, we lose roughly 45 scandalous seconds.
Yes the original is 3 minutes and 1 seconds, this is 2 minutes a 13 seconds. The Sue edit, however crass, was quite skillfully undertaken. Obviously more thought was given to the editing skills back then unlike now when its done with a meat cleaver or though it seems.
That's not the greatest of starts to an edition of TOTPs, despite what Mke Read may have implied, but Godley & Creme provided the perfect antidote to the Tweets, even if the latter act featured a Cameo appearance by Legs & Co., their Ottowan representation was where it was at this week for them.
Elsewhere generally it was great, apart from Godawful,...sorry Gidea Park, & Bad Manners, that I still can't really get into.
The first TOTP of my lifetime (I was born three days previously - I should also honourably mention this episode went out on Mr Popscene Neil's 9th birthday) - and it had to coincide with the darkest month in the show's history as far as this forum is concerned (I don't mean the end of the pesky medley fad of the Summer of '81).
Is it really just six days left in 2016 time until the Legs era, as covered as comprehensively as circumstances allow on BBC Four, is over?
Good show, just fell short of last weeks. Even enjoyed The Tweets, though I was looking past them throughout for obvious reasons. Yes, that Grogan hat, I'd be lying if I said it didn't spoil the performance for me. Sack the stylist! (if they had such things back then). The Godley and Creme performance felt like a repeat though it wasn't because Mr Read was in shot. Thought Siousxie and Toyah were good, I bought both those singles back then, might still have them somewhere. That Bad Manners vid must have been the cheapest of all time, though they played up to it by showing the watering can providing the rain effect. But highlight was Legs, of course. Terrific routine...definitely one of the highlights of 1981. Pity some bod at the Beeb couldn't have sneakily replaced the missing seconds and lost the time somewhere else. End credits, say...or the wretched Gidea Park, I mean would anyone have noticed, or cared
Hallelujah to that. With Legs soon gone I can't see me sticking with TotPs for long with its new romantic poseurs and forced party atmosphere. So let's go back to 76 with Pans, Ruby Flipper and Legs. It's getting hard to watch Queen of My Soul without a heavy heart now. So borrowing from another AWB song, Let's Go Round Again, Beeb and ditch the tacky 80s and start showing the early shows again!
LOL - I know what you mean - spend most of time skipping tracks of late....I must be getting old, where alot of it doesn't really appeal to me, rather watch Pussycat at number 1 in 76, then most of the stuff like Gidea Park, or Platinum blonde (jeez - what trash)
I knew this was going to be a sad show as this was Legs & Co coming to an end so I felt "not really bothered" about the music until I saw it. Never seen that routine before to the Tweets. Was good. My eye was drawn to the guy in the audience kicking his legs in the air between all those girls. His trousers were so tight. He appeared on the Teardrop Explodes too. Get the feeling he was going to be in Zoo. Godley & Crème and Sheena Easton were heavily nursed on this programme especially the latter as she never cracked the Top 30 with this song. Enjoyed The Creatures and Legs & Co's routine to Ottawan. I am sure I have a longer version in my collection. Loved Toyah and strangely enough Bad Manners. I bought Toyah's song on 7" but never took to Bad Manners until recently. They were really good. The rest to me were just fillers but always enjoy Adam and the Ants video as it was quite clever for that era. Legs & Co were very good backing Gidea Park. A fairly good show.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
Even further down the 81 field than the Friday repeat this one. Still no disgrace in a year I love.
Scandalous very much the right word to describe what was done to Hands Up, even if it was done with the clean cut of a master butcher. I wonder if there may after all be another behemothic routine, and this very late candidate is it...