TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

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TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

AC/PD
23-07-81: Presenter: Richard Skinner    (Thanks to POPSCENE for the running order)

(44)  THE VAPORS - Jimmie Jones
(16)  SHEENA EASTON - For Your Eyes Only (video)
(22)  SHAKIN' STEVENS – Green Door
(28)  REO SPEEDWAGON - Take It On The Run (video)                
(7)    ABBA - Lay All Your Love On Me (danced to by Legs & Co)          
(30)  TIGHT FIT - Back To The '60's
(25)  VISAGE - Visage (video)  
(35)  GIDEA PARK - Beach Boy Gold
(1)    THE SPECIALS - Ghost Town ® (video/credits)
(2)    STARSOUND - Stars On 45 Volume 2 (danced to by Legs & Co/credits)

Six days on from this edition, The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer were hitched at St. Paul's Cathedral, an event which might have been mentioned on the odd occasion when looking retrospectively at 1981. With a trio of records capitalising on the hit record medley fad and a mid-50's US chart topper cover on offer, tonight's show has a retrospective nature scattered throughout.
American Dj and radio host Jim Lowe already had a previous association with hinged room-dividers when covering Close the Door, a real pest of a record which ought to have been fumigated and condemned in 1955. A year later and Lowe balanced out his named depth when backed by The High Fives to record The Green Door, an opening for him to reach No.1 in the U.S. and a positional high of 8 in the UK equivalent in mid November 1956. As was the norm for the decade, whilst at 8, a further cover of The Green Door resided directly below. The more familiar big-band Frankie Vaughan rendition subsequently overtook Lowe's effort and was kept from the number 1 spot for three weeks by Johnnie Ray taking a stroll in the drizzle. At the same time, a further cover by Glen Mason floated around the 20-30 area. With possible origins and inspirations aplenty - one theory is the song relates to a popular Dallas music club with the local youth hanging around outside a YELLOW door (one syllable too many) - the "The" was dropped from the title and a week on from this edition, Shakin' Stevens took the record to No.1 for a month.
Created by producer Ken Gold to take advantage of the vintage melody fashion, Tight Fit employed a revolving door policy insofar as the singers and visual representatives were concerned with the former used for their vocal capabilities and the latter for their physical attributes. Indeed when Tight Fit took a cover of Doo Wop group The Tokens' 1961 US No.1 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' to a similarly lofty position in the UK in May 1982, model Steve Grant was deployed to appear on TOTP to look the part and mime to the lyrics which were committed to tape by a studio session singer. Neither the model nor the two backing singers/mime artists Julie Harris and Denise Gyngell - ex wife of record producer Pete Waterman and Hill's Angel - were present in among the lookers featured on TOTP to act as 'cover' and decoration for 'Back To The 60's'. Wrapped around a plodding, clappy beat, the songs featured in the mix - Dancing In The Street, Satisfaction, You Really Got Me, Doo Wah Diddy Diddy, Black Is Black, Bend Me Shape Me, When You Walk In The Room, Mony Mony - took the record to No.4 and for those who wanted more, a 'Part 2' was issued but falling just outside the Top 30. enough might have been enough for this particular genre.
The Four Seasons' 'Sherry' featured in Part 2, a song covered in its entirety by Adrian Baker in 1975. Earlier in 1981, Baker had a criminal record to his name as the guilty party behind 'Don't Panic', the runner-up song in the 1981 Song For Europe competition performed by Liquid Gold, the group produced and written for by Baker. Providing falsetto vocals for his Gidea Park group, Baker rattles through Surfin' USA; I Get Around; The Little Old Lady From Pasadena; Fun,Fun,Fun; Sloop John B.;  Dance,Dance,Dance; When I Grow Up and Good Vibrations. Baker's tributes were rewarded with falsetto spots with both The Four Seasons and The Beach Boys on their respective tours on and off through to 2004.
Gidea Park recorded Califorina Girls for use in a pre-credits sequence in the 1985 James Bond movie A View To A Kill. Via video, Sheena Easton provides the main theme for the latest one, becoming the first singer to make an actual appearance in the title sequence with her all-modern 1981 hairstyle. One set of good looks might have been swapped for another and it could have been Debbie Harry's features on show for Blondie offered a song similar only in title for the movie only for the producers to pick another one and for United Artists to select Sheena to sing. 008 in the Charts for Miss Easton.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em - Legs & Co. glamorise Volume 2 of Stars On 45, AKA 'More Stars', this time concentrating on the works of ABBA to conclude the show. Appropriate because halfway through, the ladies (© sueforever) smash ...well, tear their way into an area which looks none too distant from the Chiquitita setting, barefoot but in their historical underwear.
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Mikey
Nice, one of my favourite Abba songs.
♥♥♥♥ Cherry, Louise, Patti and Ruth Alliance ♥♥♥♥

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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

sueforever
In reply to this post by AC/PD
A nice preview again AC, I see tonight was a medley show. You had a nice Glamorous white end for us all.
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Paperboyplod
In reply to this post by AC/PD
There wasn't an act that I didn't like this week, which is a rarety, & that includes the acts that we'll have to wait later on tonight to watch. Normally, there's always something there to spoil the party atmosphere, as it were, & we even got a double helping of Legs & Co., but just a single question, what was it with all of these medleys of classic tracks, that were about during this period that we're at with these re-runs?
Justin
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

SuPaLu
In reply to this post by AC/PD
Great to see Lorraine Whitmarsh and Perri Lister looking so cool in the Visage video.
I remember in 1981 feeling the charts were so very retro,and this show brought that feeling back.
Glenn
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Legsfan
In reply to this post by AC/PD
Thanks for another great preview AC!
Devoted to Pan's People & Legs & Co.
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

SuPaLu
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Paperboyplod
The simple answer Justin is money.When Starsound had a huge hit with Stars On 45 then it was only a matter of time before more records cashed in.There is also a love of nostalgia and re-visiting great old records with a modern twist.I like the records,and still have the first Stars On 45 and the Bee Gees Startrax record.
Glenn
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Rosie'sNumberOneFan
Personally I would put forward last night's Tight Fit as the worst performance I have seen in the 5 years of re-runs. Poor miming to a dreadful mish-mash of 60s hits. The guy even mimed to the spoken bit! A real nadir for Pop Music. And to think I actually like their version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight!
When Rosie flares her nostrils

I go weak!
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Gorgeous Daze
In reply to this post by AC/PD
Thanks as ever AC. You've certainly made a show lacking in originality more interesting. These medleys quickly caught-on like a plague.

The late repeat featured as it often does an extended play-out. Spot Lulu in convo with one of the blokes! Is this longer than the Stars On 45 Vol 2 video that was already available?
Steve
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

GiLuRo
In reply to this post by AC/PD
Thanks AC, once again another interesting and informative preview. A couple of decent acts on tonight's show, but too many medleys for my liking. A great routine by Legs & Co, just a pity the play out had the credits splashed all over it, but still enjoyable just the same.
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Lookmacinanger
I agree with earlier comments and found there to be just a bit too much enthusiasm shown for the medley of songs from yesteryear appearing in this edition for me to cope with, even the set Legs and Co used appeared to be from another century.
Starsound were setting the pace and were ahead of the competition in the retro sector boom of ’81. Gidea Park well they should have stayed there and although great to see the Emperor visit his old stomping ground again, this is my lasting impression of this line up of Tight Fit.

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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

The Rubberband Man
Richard Skinner asked us to spot the DJ in Tight Fit. At first glance, it might have been their drummer, but if it really was, then the performance would have been Yewtree'd.
Instead, as Lookmacinanger has said, it's Emperor Rosko, from Radio Luxembourg. As good as Rosko is, his voice over and oversized sunglasses didn't save this dreadful performance.  
All bound for Lulu Land
Doc
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Doc
Good start then the awful medleys came on! Actually worse that being forced to watch X factor with your eyes being held open. At least The Specials saved the end of the show.
Still living in 1979
Doc
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Doc
If you watch the Stars on 45 dance Sue's top was only very reluctantly staying on. You can see her pulling it up several times when she wasn't directly on camera (all very professional).
Still living in 1979
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Dancer
This was a fairly good show tonight but we were indoctrinated with medleys.  Enjoyed Sheena Easton but the sound was really bad (as was the film version).  That track let me down but the visuals were good.  Enjoyed Shakin' Stevens but noticed the copious make up he had on.  He gave a good performance though.  Legs & Co did okay on the Abba track as no video had ever been recorded for that and this particular Abba track was only available on 12" single and thus was making it the first 12" single ever to reach the top ten.  I did not buy this though as it was £2.49 at the time which was quite expensive for a 12" single that resembled the album versions of both "a" and "b" sides and the US version released on Atlantic 7" again was exactly the same.  There was a very rare disconet version with a running time of ten minutes  played on the radio and in big discos but this was virtually unbuyable.  I am still wondering who the DJ was in Tight Fit that Richard Skinner mentioned.  Gidea Park was okay and I got the feeling that they used to do the jingles for Radio One.  The Specials were really good live (or as live can be).  The lighting was perfect so full marks to them for that performance and finally Stars on 45 volume 2 was Abba again and we were overpowered by Abba by this time who were now beginning to demise and also this would be the last time that Star Sound would make the top 10.  The second album which accompanied this single was equally tedious and I gave this away.  Full marks to Legs & Co for this though and the dancers with them.  Rosie chose her dancer well and I noticed Sue had two dancers with her.  For real chart aficionados I noticed the arrow were pointing the wrong way for Odyssey's track.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

VintageVideos
Dancer wrote
I am still wondering who the DJ was in Tight Fit that Richard Skinner mentioned.
As Mac and RBM already mentioned, it's Emperor Rosko. His participation in the record is also mentioned in this interview:
http://www.offshoreechos.com/Rosko.htm

Dancer wrote
I did not buy this though as it was £2.49 at the time which was quite expensive for a 12" single that resembled the album versions of both "a" and "b" sides and the US version released on Atlantic 7" again was exactly the same.
I never bought it back then but I bought it a couple of months ago as an addition for my collection. It's a pity it doesn't feature an extended version though.

Dancer wrote
For real chart aficionados I noticed the arrow were pointing the wrong way for Odyssey's track.
Indeed. Well spotted.
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Dancer
Thanks Vintage Videos.  I would never have noticed him.

Yes people still buy it now and considering it was labelled "special collectors edition" there are always one or two copies around in charity shops and auction sites.  It was very poor marketing by Polar for releasing this especially as they had "Put on your White Sombrero" on their shelf.  It was the wrong choice for a single especially as the album had spent nine weeks at No.1 in December 1980 onwards.

There is the Disconet version out there but it is a rarity and the mix was just perfect and the right length.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

VintageVideos
You can buy the Disconet version on discogs:
https://www.discogs.com/de/de/release/250105

A good and complete copy is quite pricey though.
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Dancer
Thanks Vintage Videos.  I really want to get a copy though as it was the best version.  I was hoping it would have appeared on the Super Trouper de-luxe album that was released last year but to no avail.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
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Re: TOTPs 31/03/16 (Originally aired 23/07/81)

Mikey
In reply to this post by AC/PD
(1)    THE SPECIALS - Ghost Town ® (video/credits)

This was a repeat from 02/07/81 not a video
♥♥♥♥ Cherry, Louise, Patti and Ruth Alliance ♥♥♥♥