25-06-81: Presenter: Simon Bates (Thanks to POPSCENE for the partial running order)
(32) GILLIAN - No Laughing In Heaven
(9) ELAINE PAIGE - Memory (pre-recorded insert) ®
(40) KIRSTY MACCOLL - There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis
(31) THE EVASIONS - Wikka Wrap
(28) RANDY CRAWFORD - You Might Need Somebody ®
(43) DEPECHE MODE – New Life
(1) MICHAEL JACKSON - One Day In Your Life (danced to by Legs & Co)
(26) QUINCY JONES - Razzmatazz (credits)
At first glance, this particular edition (the 898th) looks to be a decidedly truncated one but despite following on from Harry Carpenter presenting a round-up of the days events in SW19, this is most definitely not a Wimbledon special. Presently, Popscene lists seven acts which participated in this 30 minute edition of Top Of the Pops, a rare instance of incomplete information for a 1980's broadcast.
Both the Elaine Paige and Randy Crawford performances originate from the Savile hosted edition of the 11th of this particular month, one on which Legs & Co. were given the week off and seen only through a repeat of their audience-encouraging Let's Jump The Broomstick appearance on Anita's debut show in late May. Given the imminent instinctive feeling divulged by Sue on The Story Of 1981, might the troupe have reached the stage in the mind of Michael Hurll of jumping more than broomsticks? Get outta the water!
Legs & Co's misty movements dance to One Day In Your Life is significant in the fact that it signifies the final instance of a No.1 being represented by a pure Legs &
Co. routine at the time of its position at the summit. In the fullness of time - and going by that incorrect BBC4 clock, it'll be quicker than expected - Legs & Co. will be present for just a couple more U.K. No.1's but only through the alternative avenue of audience encouragement. The first of a two week stay at the top of the charts, following on from Smokey Robinson's Being With You the MJ record gave Motown Records a month at the summit, 'summat' rather unexpected as late as 1981.
Elaine Paige's familiar introduction was by a chap in glasses and preceded by the words "Ladies & Gentleman, Miss..." (also handy when proclaiming a forthcoming appearance by her future co-collaborator Barbara Dickson too). Tonight's man in specs doesn't go for the standard prose prior to a repeat showing of Memory, afforded Legs & Co. status by being pre-recorded for subsequent insertion on another 'misty' occasion in June. Busy in 1981, Barnet-born Paige played grizzled old puss Grizabella in the original West End version of Cats, the Andrew Loyd-Webber musical production which took its bow at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane on the 11th of the previous month and Memory, which reached No.5 in the UK Charts was penned by Sarah Brightman's future husband with lyrics, based in a rather paraphrased/rearranged manner on a pair of T.S. Eliot poems - 'Rhapsody on a Windy Night' and 'Preludes' - written by Sir Trevor Nunn.
One of the few women alongside whom Pauline would look surly, walking toothpaste advert Randy Crawford was a week ahead of Odyssey in terms of actually flying in from the States for a TOTP performance and an actual live one at that, with a cheerfully heartfelt vocal rendition of You Might Need Somebody. Covered rather excellently in 1997 by 18 year old R&B soul singer Shola Ama in the Spring of 1997, the record first appeared as a release by little-known US singer and guitarist Turley Richards in January 1980, making its mark at the No. 54 position on the US Billboard Hot 100, a chart on which, away from The Crusaders, Randy Crawford surprisingly made no appearances. UK-wise, You Might Need Somebody reached No. 11 for Veronica "Randy" Crawford, 4 for Shola Ama.
Highly doubtful that the plane on which Randy jetted in is the one heard in Back In The USSR style on Wikka Wrap although the odds on the aircraft having once contained the Barclaycard promoting jet-setter upon whom this particular spoof record is based are high. The legendary broadcaster Alan Whicker's journalistic stories of social interest from all over the globe spanned 36 years from 1958 to 1994. The last of the four signature tunes to accompany the TV series Whicker's World was 'Newsweek' composed by jingle writer and corporate advert creator Graham de Wilde. Here, he impersonates Whicker's laid back, unflustered delivery style set against the tropical background of absolute funk with a double entendre or two in among remade sections from Tom Browne's Funkin' For Jamaica (the one where Legs & Co. danced in colourful, slightly mismatched lingerie) Thighs High (Grip Your Hips & Move), Chic's Good Times, from Parliament 'Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker) and (one without brackets) Isaac Hayes' Theme From Shaft. No.20 for Wikka Wrap which concludes with a mention of the reverse role for the word 'Bad' six years before Michael Jackson informed us.
An excellent and very informative preview AC.
As sueforever says, it's a very interesting line up. Short on number but high on quality.
Particularly looking forward to the debut performance of one of Britain's biggest and most successful bands.
In his introduction, Simon Bates warns us “do not adjust you set for the funny stuff underneath” .... no idea what he's on about.
Good preview as always but looks a rather dire line up with only Randy Crawford and Depeche Mode the worthy ones. Pity DLT and Bates did not swap shows then we would have got the more superior 899th show and the last remnants of the Nash era before the flying records took over on BBC Four instead.
Another edition that only really got going for me with the third act, this week, Kirsty McColl, & she was sublime, but alas no longer with us. I guess that the rumours that Elvis Presley faked faked his death, were already circulating?, I must remark that Simon Bates, was incorrect, Kirsty's debut single didn't make the UK's top ten.
Gillan, & Elqine Paige, didn't really do anything for me.
The Evasions, now I'd never heard of them, & I didn't know that this track existed, it's certainly different, the proverbial "dad at a disco" phrase springs to mind, a surreal sight, it has to be said.
Randy Crawford, sounding great with her live performance.
Depeche Mode, were every bit as good as I'd expect.
Legs & Co. looked as angelic as I'd ever seen them, & Quincy Jones has a great track to end this week's programme with, though not in your listing Anita's Cheekbones!
Having had a re-listen, during & after the instrumental break there's a few strange "bloop" sounding noises, like a hollow tapping noise? I don't think I would've noticed if you haven't said though eagle-ears Ryan!