03-09-81: Presenter: Peter Powell (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)
(16) MODERN ROMANCE - Everybody Salsa (Legs & Co. & audience dancing)
(40) JOHN FOXX - Europe (After The Rain)
(7) UB40 - One In Ten ®
(32) BUCKS FIZZ - One Of These Nights
(33) THE TEARDROP EXPLODES - Passionate Friend
(6) GARY NUMAN - She's Got Claws
(31) DOLLAR - Hand Held In Black & White
(29) THE POINTER SISTERS - Slow Hand (danced to by Legs & Co.)
(23) OMD - Souvenir
(1) SOFT CELL – Tainted Love
(47) FUNKAPOLITAN - As Time Goes By (Legs & Co. & audience dancing/credits)
How's this for seamless flow - enlist Legs & Co. to mingle with the audience and finish the previous show in the Modern manner of having Everybody Salsa across the TOTP studio and then start the following edition in the exact same manner. Allowing for the shedding of the oriental 'look', it's as if they've been at it for the past seven days, riding on the crest of a non-stop party atmosphere. Once the pink vinyl's scattered its shattered pieces,there they are! We're into Peter Powell, standing still yet zig-zagging across the screen and flanked by quick-change, lively Legs & Co. - Amazonian Gill beaming, 'flat-belly' Lulu clapping, noisy Sue whooping just aside from PP's right ear, Anita's accompanied and partially obscured by Leo Sayer's stunt double. Where's Rosie? Regretfully, fully obscured by the host but getting a few claps in, arms aloft, before disappearing pronto to take up her position on stage where hula girls and court jesters provide further intriguing ingredients. Quite how Old Bill would react were it Lulu behind his 'favourite' TOTP presenter is thankfully unprintable.
Following the Romance comes the languid John Foxx, intitial lead vocalist of the post-punk, pre-commercial success incarnation of Ultravox, leaving the group and his emotions behind in 1979 to go solo, a choice which generated 7 singles, none of which troubled the Top 30. In the case of tonights offering 'Europe (After The Rain) , it was 40 and no more. Although a modicum of strums are heard on the record, Foxx utilises the acoustic guitar more as a prop to sway with, the instrument suddenly quaint and old-fashioned in a new romantic/age environment where the bass emits from a synthesizer played by Eddie Maelov, one half of electronic cabaret style act (and Ultravox gig support) Eddie and Sunshine with the brighter aspect of the duo - Sunshine Patteson - providing the occasional resonating notes as part of the soundscape seated before a grand piano.
Linking the Foxx to the Fizz is UB40's statistical reminder of the ratio of West Midlands residents receiving handouts in the Summer of '81, the band's ratio usage preferable to a precise percentage which was recorded as 9.6%. Their fifth record registered as a No.7 in the UK. No.20 for two weeks of a 10 week run, or, if we're using fractions, '1/5' are the chart stats gleaned from Bucks Fizz's third single 'One Of These Nights' - a departure from the chirpy cheeriness of Making your Mind Up and Piece Of The Action, with Bobby Gee (G for Gubby) in charge of lead vocals. The year before Eurovision success, Gee had said goodbye to the plumbing trade and two failed marriages and thanked the Lord for a role in the Rice/Loyd Webber musical Jesus Christ Superstar. 27 year old Gee auditioned for a part in the Song For Europe group, organised by Nichola Martin who was a member Rags, a trio which came 4th in 1977's Song For Europe contest. the result of Gee's 1981 audition wasn't immediate selection but he earned a recall and subsequent offer when one of the successful applicants, Stephen Fischer (who himself would become one half of 1982's UK entrant Bardo) was forced to drop out due to a commitment to the musical Godspell.
Once the pillowcase 'snow' has abated Peter Powell displays a little something which he brought back from a stint on the Radio 1 Roadshow. It's Miss Torquay! Recently crowned 'Miss Radio 1 Roadshow 1981' , she's also known as Gill (not 'our' Gill, though). We don't get to discover if she likes Night Games but the brunette does indeed like The Teardrop Explodes. Thank goodness the Legs & Co. dance isn't up next...
With the feeling of New-Wave becoming decidedly mainstream, one of its pioneers decided to deviate towards a jazzier sound whilst still retaining a sombre outlook. For She's Got Claws, Gary Numan called upon Mick Karn, from Japan, a band which he much admired, to provide saxophone. For She's Got Claws, the video features a prowling panther, Polaroid camera and Numan giving the fur-coated representation feline the bird. Inspired by the betrayal of a former kiss-and-tell lover, but without a paint pot at hand (for hurling over the coat), She's Got Claws reached No.6.
The foil-wrapped Legs & Co.'s 'danceability' is given a Slow Hand by two audience sections, one of which is encircled by a giant iris platform from which there appears to be no visible means of escape. Says Peter Powell, "And without Legs & Co. there would be no show". Well then, the show ends next month.
Fir the time being, Legs & Co. return once more for the playout track of As Time Goes By, most definitely not the love-song played by Sam in Casablanca. However, this time there's no flow for Legs & Co. into the next show.
Nice preview again AC, i did chuckle at the Night Games reference. Tainted Love aside it does not look chocka with hits although with John Foxx, Gary Numan, OMD and Soft Cell, thats quite a synth-off taking place.
Its been ages since i watched the god damn awful `As Time Goes By` and then obviously it was only because our dancers are backing them. From memory i seem to remember a load of young looking Thatcherite Yuppie's trying to look cool whilst playing guitars and singing in a rapping style, but i may be wrong on that. Im resisting the temptation to watch it early and will instead endure it with the rest of you later.
On the plus side is a top notch Legs routine earlier in the show with loads of close-ups. The Sue & Rosie sexy walk is a must see moment.
Thanks again AC, looks like a decent show tonight with only one repeat, and of course seeing the girls dancing on three occasions is certainly a bonus, although i'll be hanging on until after the later broadcast just to be sure not to miss anything.
That's a neat transition from last week, to this one with these re-runs, we started as we finished last week, with Modern Romance's great debut party track, & for me, it's a typical early 80s clean sweep of decent musical acts, although, it was another butchered early broadcast, with, the leap straight some the aforementioned first act, to the Teardrop Explodes, a track that I didn't really know all that well, but I liked it anyways.
There's really so much variety, that you just don't see in today's pop charts, from pure cheesiness, such as Dollar, through to the more "credible" pop of Orchestral Manuevers In The Dark, & Soft Cell, but as I say, I liked everything tonight, including, as ever Legs & Co., with both their own performance, representing the Pointer Sisters, (who predictably couldn't be there @ TOTPs HQ), & joining in with the studio-based audience, dancing to Funkapolitan.
However the presenter Peter Powell, ruined things by looking at the wrong camera, during one link.
Classic stuff AC. For an edition with enough for classic status in my book.
John Foxx. They saved the best for me till later. The opening track from his second solo album, The Garden, which happens to be an all-time favourite of mine. After the stark urban themes of his debut, Metamatic, as the title suggests he took a green turn. He's described it as 'psychedelic ecclesiastical disco(!). The seven-minute title track complete with birdsong that closes the album is sublime, a hauntingly beautiful masterpiece.
Dollar - The first of the brilliant quartet of singles they made with Trevor Horn. Perfect pop that never dates. Teresa was equally perfect.
OMD - Paul Humphrey's voice wasn't the best but a likeable enough single, if a little safe. Maid Of Orleans (the second of the two consecutive Joan Of Arc singles!) was the strongest from Architecture And Morality.
The Teardrop Explodes- I'm a big admirer of Julian Cope but Passionate Friend wouldn't be on my Best-of compilation.
Funkapolitan - Who?? I think Ryan's about got their measure.
Funny that Numan in android gangster phase was able to make the studio with a presenter-like arm around a young female, but only his video was shown.
*If* this photo was taken around the date the costumes were on TOTP (3rd Sept '81) then clearly Patti's mysterious absence wasn't due either to a Carribean cruise or a full leg pot (though a little worried about where her right arm has gone).