05-02-81: Presenter: Simon Bates (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(35) STRAY CATS – Rock This Town
(5) BLONDIE - Rapture (video)
(17) SPANDAU BALLET - The Freeze ®
(19) FRED WEDLOCK – The Oldest Swinger In Town
(12) RAINBOW - I Surrender (video)
(11) DIRE STRAITS - Romeo & Juliet ®
(28) XTC – Sgt Rock (Is Going To Help Me)
(15) CLIFF RICHARD - A Little In Love (video)
(34) THE PASSIONS – I'm In Love With A German Film Star
(30) JOE DOLCE MUSIC THEATRE – Shaddup You Face
(1) JOHN LENNON - Woman (video) (and credits)
Gill's legs gave way - deliberately, one hastens to add - at the conclusion of last weeks/nights dance routine. Tonight, all six sets have given way and their absence has been noted. Where were they? The ladies most definitely were not getting in some early rehearsal time for a Basil Brush Easter Extravaganza set aboard a raft because the foxy funster had fallen foul of the powers that be at the BBC - a later time-slot request had resulted in the show's cancellation. Maybe Michael Hurll had returned after a New Year spell in which he was dropped in favour of old hand Robin Nash and told to work on his game.
Speaking of women, John Lennon's managed to knock himself from the top spot whilst simultaneously reclaiming it too. No mean feat and one which Lennon had achieved previously when with the Fab Four, exchanging She Loves You with I Want To Hold Your Hand in December '63. Both records occupied the Top two positions when this very programme began the following month.
A No.1 for two weeks in the UK (No.2 on the U.S. Billboard) Woman had been selected by Lennon as the second single to be lifted from the Double Fantasy LP, boosting the middling album sales in the inevitable aftermath. A song of appreciation for females the world over, Woman also served as a belated apology to Yoko for her husband's 'Lost weekend' (a lengthy 'weekend' exceeding an entire year) fling with the couples Personal Secretary May Pang and orchestrated in part by Yoko herself to bolster the crumbling foundations of their marriage long-term, Despite her manipulative ways, it's difficult to feel no pang of sorrow for Ono when seen sitting alone with her thoughts (and the film crew reflected in her sunglasses), wrapped up warm against the Winter chill of snowy Central Park.
Omitted from an early even broadcast recently were XTC so, as that particular appearance receives a repeat performance tonight, the likelihood of Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me) making the 7:30pm edit are almost as slim as band-member Terry Chambers making any connection at all between drum-kit and sticks. Songwriter Andy Partridge had a penchant for comics because not only was Sgt. Rock an actual World War II US Army veteran from the pages of US Comic books but so to was Superman's cousin, the source of XTC's "That's Really Super, Supergirl", a track from their 1986 album 'Skylarking' - characters with their very own DC Comics titles. No. 16 was the highest U.K. placement for Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me), spending nine weeks in the chart.
From the heart of the West Country comes not The Wurzels but Bristolian folk singer, comic and local celebrity Fred Wedlock - a non Rochdale version of Mike Harding in talent as well as appearance. Wedlock's wry and witty way with words resulted in a steady trickle of albums in the 1970's including a variant of Simon & Garfunkel's 'The Boxer lp entitled The Folker, released on his own co-founded record label 'Village Thing'. His 1979 album, "The Oldest Swinger In Town" was recorded with assistance from members of The Strawbs - whose 'Part Of The Union' reached No.2 in '72 - and it was they who persuaded Fred (first name - Peter) to release the title track as a single, one which received regular airplay from Noel Edmonds. Upon climbing to No.6 in mid February, 38 year old Fred made a TOTP return accompanied on stage - and somehow managing not to get distracted by - Legs & Co.
It's all over the place n terms of the variety of acts for this week's programme, something for almost everybody I'd say.
The Passiions sounded like a ''90s indie-rock act, that had time-travelled back to '81, Cliff was okay, a much bigger hit was to be had by him later in this particular year of course.
Standing out for me, Legs & Co., by their conspicuous absence, but also, the novelty acts, or as they're maybe perceived, Joe Dolce's Music Theater, & Fred Wedlock, but alas the Bristolian folker, was amongst the acts cut from the BBC Four premier broadcast, the others being Rainbow, & Dire Straits.
I'm not getting all of the hatred towards Joe Dolce, yeah he kept Ultravox from obtaning a coveted #1 single, but surely by now it's all water under the bridge, as they say.
Surprised Fred Wedlock didn't make the 73opm cut...
Maybe the last line of the song was deemed to risque to play on the early edition?
I'm sure Dire Straits got chopped 'cos they know it'll be appearing more than once in the coming weeks....as I recall it was in the charts for ages?
R&J was featured only twice on TOTP - first on a yewtree'd DLT show (15/01) and the second time on this show (05/02). Guess someone at the BBC doesn't like Dire Straits. They could've easily edited out Spandau Ballet or XTC who were both seen on BBC4 last week.
Put it this way, if that performance had of been in a couple of months time, Legs & Co would have been drafted in to provide the backing dance. Infact id wager if they were available on this show they may have got the gig with The Stray Cats.