15-10-81: Presenter: David Jensen (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(44) GARY GLITTER - And Then She Kissed Me
(5) TOYAH – Thunder In The Mountains (video)
(36) B.A. ROBERTSON & MAGGIE BELL - Hold Me
(16) ALTERED IMAGES - Happy Birthday ®
(2) THE TWEETS - Birdie Song (Birdie Dance) (danced to by Legs & Co)
(3) GODLEY & CREME – Under Your Thumb ®
(41) THE EXPLOITED - Dead Cities
(31) SQUEEZE - Labelled With Love
(25) THE CREATURES - Mad Eyed Screamer ®
(59) HEAVEN 17 - Play To Win (background music)
(10) BAD MANNERS - Walking In The Sunshine
(1) DAVE STEWART & BARBARA GASKIN - It's My Party
(48) THIS YEAR'S BLONDE - Platinum Pop (Legs & Co. & audience dancing/credits)
"Hi there!" It's a warm welcome back to David Jensen, returning to these shores after departing them in the late Spring of 1980 to help launch the CNN 24 hour channel in the U.S. of A. Jensen returned to Radio 1 on October 5th not to his previously held drivetime slot but for a weekday evening show commencing just as Top Of The Pops finished broadcasting at 8pm. Delighted to be back on Radio 1, he found the change in the British music scene rather stark : "I've had a lot of catching up to do. The scene over there is so different. Although Atlanta, where I was, has 44 radio stations, only three of them play the sort of music you'd hear here."
That said, the first act he introduces on his TOTP return just happens to be a blast from the past and one which may not get past the editing equipment and onto BBC4 - there's more chance of 5,000-1 Leicester City winning the Premier League. With a gender change and given an additional conjunction, Gary Glitter's cover of the classic Spector, Greenwich, Barry composition 'Then He Kissed Me' was a UK No.2 for iconic girl group The Crystals 18 years previously. For Glitter, it reached 39. Responding to complaints about a Glitter appearance on a 1977 TOTP repeat shown on BBC4 in 2012, a spokesman supposedly told The Sun, "It would be inappropriate for the BBC to rewrite history, so the programme was shown in its entirety."...
One 60's cover version which will most certainly appear is the left field synth. version of It's My Party, No.1 in the US and Australia for Lesley Gore in 1963 and at the top of the pile in Germany and the UK for Barbara Gaskin & Dave Stewart, the prog rock keyboardist who, earlier in the year had teamed up with Zombies singer Colin Blunstone to take the similarly heavily reworked Motown classic 'What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted' to No.13 in the U.K. Barbara Gaskin had guested on record and at gigs with Stewart's band 'Hatfield and The North' , somewhat apt for the Hatfield-born Gaskin. With It's My Party a No.1 for 4 weeks, the intermittent follow ups fared poorly with 1983's Busy Doing Nothing doing just that when getting no higher than No.49 and a 1986 cover of Little Eva's 'The Locomotion' breaking down at No.70.
Glaswegians take hold with an Altered Images repeat following Brian Alexander Robertson's duet with rock vocalist Maggie Bell. Formerly with blues rock-band Stone The Crows, Bell provided the theme tunes to a pair of ITV detective dramas with 'No Mean City' used for Taggart and 'Hazell' for the little-remembered late 1970's late 70's show based on Terry Venables' Hazell novels. A pre-war song recorded by Billy Cotton & His Band in 1933 and made popular by PJ Proby in 1964 (No.3), the 1981 remake reached No.11.
Glasgow versus Edinburgh - the latter represented by The Exploited for their first & last appearance on TOTP. "Raaa, raaa, ra-ra-ra raaaaa! I'm filed up with aggression.Want to smash your television"...(shrug).
Any second thoughts David Jensen may now be having about returning to these shores are firmly quashed by the time Legs & Co. help close the show with an appearance in Debbie Harry wigs as This Year's Blonde, fronted by a delightful blonde take to the stage with the latest medley record running through the Blondie catalogue with snippets of Hanging On The Telephone, Denis, Dreaming, Union City Blues, (I'm Always Touched) By Your Presence Dear, Picture This, Sunday Girl and Dreaming.
The last time David Jensen presented Top Of The Pops in May 1980, he introduced Legs & Co. dancing to the sprightly You Gave Me Love by Crown Heights Affair. From afar, he now has to look upon the resident dance troupe performing, as their final main dance, another version of the Birdie Song. Yes David, the scene's certainly changed.
Thanks AC for another great preview. It's good to have David Jensen back. The programme looks to be a bit of a mixed bag but there will certainly be a very messy edit right at the start. It does make me wonder if the Gary Glitter song had of reached the top 30 as to whether he would have been edited out of the chart rundown. Luckily for BBC Four they won't face that problem.
It will be the last time we see them in any sort of co-ordinated dance routine. On the next show which is Yewtree'd and the final show they only provide backing to artists, with Gills 20 second cameo on the final show also a small crumb of comfort in whats a really sad occasion.
Crikey, never realised we hadn't seen the Kid for over a year. I remembered his return back in 1981 and how he claimed he had been homesick for Britain and Crystal Palace FC, now that's what you call an Anglophile. I hope his boys turn over United tomorrow btw. Great preview AC.
15-10-81: Presenter: David Jensen...
... in his U.S. homeland.
Thanks for the usual entertaining and informative intro AC and I'll forgive you for expelling our Kid as you're such a fine lad. I am not sure what the statute of limitations is for crap performances but Mr Glitter had better hope it's short otherwise he'll be facing more charges. I actually feel a bit traumatised by this edition of TOTPs what with GG's nauseating attempt, the BA Robertson subliminal threatened mammary grab perfomance, the totally horrid Exploited and the disturbing medium-high-kicking mini-dressing-gowned sax player in Bad Manners. Squeeze were good though and it was indeed great to have Mr Jensen back where he belongs and reminding me of the fine double act with John Peel to come. Seeing Legs nearing the end of their tenure is heart-rending too and there needs to be a support group for the bereaved on here.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Thought this was a much stronger edition musically than last night's. Don't know if its just me but Kid Jensen's accent seems to have been topped up during his sojourn on the other side of the Atlantic, sounds stronger than before he left.
Just checking out the un-edited show from last night on the iplayer. Good grief, how on earth did that Exploited Dead Cities thing get on the show. Ive never heard or seen them/that before, hope i dont again. Absolute tripe of the highest degree.
No waiting list for this pair, i reckon one of them must have been a daughter or niece of Hurll or somebody similar high up. I often spot audience members come back time and time again, but not like these two who seem to have a season ticket to TOTPs.
This show was really in essence a repeat from the previous day on BBC4 but good to watch and makes it easy for the voting section. Enjoyed Toyah, BA Robertson and Bad Manners. Fantastic to have Dave Stewart at No.1 as I remember having that on a 7" single. This Year's Blonde got a good run too for a last performance. A good show but a shame that we missed the previous week. Felt terribly sad at Legs & Co's last performance as this was really not the idealistic tune to be dancing to. There were some lovely songs in the chart at this time that would have been a little more memorable without being dwarfed by the audience doing this ridiculous dance.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.