"Welcome to the sound of the eighties"

TOTP 80.43/2 25/12/80

..part two..

The Police - Don't Stand So Close to Me

Fern Kinney - Together We Are Beautiful

Johnny Logan -What's Another Year

Abba - Super Trouper

Lipps Inc - Funky Town (Legs & Co.)

Leo Sayer  - More Than I Can Say

Sheena Easton - 9 to 5

Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2

St. Winifred's School Choir - There's No-One Quite Like Grandma

TOTP 80.43/1 25/12/80

First shown on BBC 1 on Christmas Day, 1980
Presented by Jimmy Savile and Peter Powell

not repeated by BBCFour in 2015

...so a huge thanks to Manorak for posting the show on vimeo, and thanks - as ever - to Popscene for the running order. Basically it's a 'The Best of [insert year here]' Christmas Day special, with lots of hits to keep everyone awake during the postprandial blow out and before The Queen comes on.

The NolansI’m In The Mood For Dancing

Dexy's Midnight Runners - Geno

Blondie - Atomic

Paul McCartney - Coming Up

Barbara Streisand - Woman in Love

Liquid Gold - Dance Yourself Dizzy

David Bowie - Ashes to Ashes

Marti Webb - Take That Look Off Your Face

(..having trouble with blog-tags so splitting this post into two..)

TOTP 80.42 18/12/80

First shown 18th December 1980*
Repeated on BBCFour from 10/12/2015
Presented by Simon Bates
Full chart here

*wee note: I've chosen the exact original date in 2015 to publish this post.

Bates is back and will do us the honours for this, the last 2015-repeated TOTP80. Over to you Symes...

Wow! Quite a party going on here, funny hats and Stray Cats in the background...

The Beat - Too Nice to Talk To
It's been a great year for The Beat, now having had four hit singles (five if we include tears of a Clown from late last year) and a cracking album which remained top 30 for five months. Alas it seems as if the magic was over with this last one as they are swept away with the new-new wave in '81. Perhaps the Soviet soldier-chic was a bad move?

St. Winifred's School Choir - There's No-One Quite Like Grandma
Stuck at no. 2 having been somewhat cheated out of the top spot by the cruel hand of fate. All is not lost however, not for the wee clones at least. Symes must have a niece or nephew or something at St. Winifred's as he clings on to the fact that it might still get to no. 1 for Christmas and yah boo sucks to John Lennon.

The Barron Knights - Never Mind the Presents
Funny hat back on Symes and since this is Great Britain so we couldn't have a Christmas without having a 'novelty' 'Christmas record, could we. I remember this lot being quite popular at the time although being more of Monty Python / Not the Nine O'Clock News man myself, I duly poo-pooed their populist humour. In hindsight however their Pink Floyd "we don't need no educayshun" piss-take is actually quite funny.

More japes now with special guests Little and Large....steps back in amazement...

The Specials - Do Nothing
Such was The Specials' hardcore following that they seemed to get hit after hit with almost no effort, and little radio play, involved. Third single from their 'lounge' influenced More Specials album, which was surprisingly short-lived Top 30-wise. Nice Christmas jumpers, and more dress sense than The Beat and Little & Large put together. The 'second vocalist' who jumps around doing nothing, not even singing much would later be adopted by

Symes plugs some BBC records, then gets so excited about the next artist he gets the song title wrong and also misguidedly tells us it's 'live'.

Gary Numan - This Wreckage
Talking of hardcore followings, here's another artist who had already become a bit of a cult within the space of just over a year, with mega-selling albums, a handful of top 10 singles, sell-out tours etc. Hard to believe we're only just a year after Cars though as this synth-durge with lyrics about God being dead, and "I leave you" in Japanese and all that is hardly TOTP or even hit-radio material. As you're retiring Gaz, might as well get back to the drawing board. Nice festive 'snowman'-chic jumpsuit though.

Robert Palmer - Looking For Clues
Perhaps it was Numan himself who managed to pull a few strings and get his mate Robert Palmer back on the Pops. Palmer recorded a version of Numan's I Dream of Wires for his Clues album: "you scratch my back mate and I'll call someone at the BBC...". Symes reminds us that PAlmer's last single wasn't "a massive hit" and thereby puts the jinx on this one too: stuck at no. 33, the third of five weeks in that hallowed chart position.

Symes reminds us that Christmas Day is coming up next Thursday (who knew??) and that the Pops will be on at 2 pm and not in the usual slot, so that makes a change.

Chart rundown 30-18.

Chas & Dave - Rabbit
The first appearance of the cheeky Cockney duo since '79's hit Gertcha (Cockney rhyming slang for 'gertcha') and now they're back with this song about some lady friend and her 'rabbiting' ie. the art of catching rabbits, which may seem like a strange thing at this time of year. Should've been 'turkeying' perhaps? Unlike Gary Numan, Chas 'n' Dave sing live.

Charts 17-11. Bates is keen to show us what's going up this week. Erm, only Quo & Queen, actually Symes.

The Nolans - Who's Gonna Rock You
In a desperate effort to get some female artists onto the show (despite Chas n Dave's sexist ranting) The Nolans sisters are grabbed by the skin of their teeth at no. 39 and dragged on to brighten the place up a bit and keep the Dads, and indeed The Parents, happy.  Complete with backing band, this is/was a rather feeble attempt at 'disco' and not their best but it'll keep the Nolan ball rolling. And 'rock' isn't meant to be a euphemism for something else, by the way.

Top Ten Time.

Jona Lewie - Stop the Cavalry
Like Symes said, now at no. 3 with his Moog-tuba brass backing band, and of course sleigh bells and the "wish I was at home for Christmas" (clang!) festive bits thrown in. Repeated studio performance.

John Lennon - Just Like Starting Over
"..number one, of course.." cit. Symes. Legs & Co. were absent last week because they were apparently busy rehearsing for the Christmas & New Year's specials. But it looks as though they had to quickly put together a Christmas-themed routine for the deceased Beatle's single...of course. One can always speculate on how the new Lennon/Ono material would have fared had it not been for The Tragic Incident: sceptics may say they would have re-faded into oblivion and faded rockstar sadness, while  others may say that it was a return to form with Lennon's retro-style fitting in with the new 50s/60s nostalgia (although way outclassing the likes of Stray Cats, Matchbox et al), while Ono's more avant-garde pop has already been absorbed into the new wave mainstream. I'd go for the latter theory. Whatever you think, Lennon was brutally murdered and his assassination by an obsessed "fan" was a cruel, illogical consequence of pop-stardom in the modern world.

Hate to have to finish TOTP80 on such a sad note - the omission of the Christmas show in BBCFour repeats here in the year 2015 also another sad consequence of how just a small number of leading figures in 'show business' and public broadcasting spoiled the party for everyone. Hopefully, hoever, said Christmas special will be made available by someone, somewhere and we can bring you the line-up and the usual commentary just for completion's sake.

Until then, it's good night from me.

TOTP 80.41 11/12/80

First broadcast: 11th December 1980
Repeated on BBCFour from: 03/12/2015
Presented by: Richard Skinner
Full chart here

It's Richard Skinner's first presentation spot proper and for the occasion he's turned up looking like a Maths teacher who's mis-calculated the right amount of shampoo and conditioner in direct geometrical proportion to his hair. Apparently "we're celebrating Christmas a little early" tonight although there's not a sprig of tinsel in sight. But that's a cunning Radio 1 DJ style reference to the opening background song though, so full marks there Mr. Skinner.

Quick preview and a very masculine orientated Pops on the face of it - like the tinsel, there's not a female artist in sight!

Adam & the Ants - Antmusic
Adam and his jolly companions nearly did a 'Sheena Easton' last week by having two songs in the charts (ie. Top 30) at the same time. However that accolade still remains with our Sheene as this one was at no. 31 while Dog Eat Dog was on its way down. We believe the 80s - with the 'Ant Invasion' have well and truly started now however with this stomper stomping up to no. 16.

Showaddywaddy - Blue Moon
Ah yes, Skinner really must be a Maths teacher as he tells us that if you double 16 you get 32... But oh dear. The Pops still insist on hanging onto the past and subtracting 10 years from the 80s with a 70s band doing a 50s song, and very badly too. This one was outside the Top 30 when it was last on two weeks ago and unsurprisingly it's still outside the Top 30, and inexplicably on again. Definitely a case of having friends in high places (or perhaps someone made a wrong prediction thinking it would shoot up the charts for some reason?). Hopefully this is definitely the very last we will see of them.

Surprise! Here's a guest from The Other Side of the Atlantic! Waoah! It's Jermaine Jackson! And it's his birthday! Surprise! Cake! Applause! And a surprise! Jermaine's not a Madness fan!

Madness - Embarassment
Stable this week at 4 and they're in the studio. And very smart and well behaved they are too this time. Perhaps somebody had 'had a word'? Full marks to Suggs for starting the mimed vocals on cue.

Skinner then gives first tragic announcement of the show: no Legs & Co!!!!! So we're "legless". Geddit?

Status Quo - Lies
Anyway this lot don't give a toss and they're quite happy to tell us how much they're drinking an' smoking in this next catchy number. Sales of Quo's latest album Just Supposin' were lagging a bit so they decided to put out a double A side single with two tracks from said long player. Unbeknownst to most Lies/Don't Drive My Car  has been creeping up the charts for the past six weeks or so although the Quo obviously hadn't been able to make it to the studio but have finally made a promo film instead.

First mention of The Death of John Lennon, but hey who cares?! It's Christmas and Dire Straits and Jon Anderson are on tour! And another surprise: it's Gary Numan! He ain't bovvered about touring no more though cos he wants to learn to fly. Skinner's "interview" is a rushed affair though and sadly we don't get to hear what Gary thinks about Matchbox.

Matchbox - Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Also eager for a decent follow-up to their previous hits, latter-day rockabillies Matchbox hit the nostalgia button once more with this pointless cover version of the famed Judy Garland song. A subtle stab at the Christmas market perhaps (given that there would no doubt have been a repeat of said movie over the Xmas hols), but this is by and large pretty embarrassing. Interesting to see 'lighters' (and not proper matches - geddit?) swaying among the audience as I thought that was a much more recent phenomenon. Or did The Pops invent it?

The PoliceDe Do Do Do, De Da Da Da 
Talking of follow-ups, The Police follow up their no. 1 single about teenage lust for teacher with a song about...well, nothing. Their eloquence has obviously escaped them so they're happy just to arse about in the snow in a kind of millionaire-holiday mix between The Beatles and Madness. The Police go nutty-boys, and Sting's big thing keeps getting in the way. It's all very weird here in 1980-land folks..

And if Skinner says "Talking of..." to link two things together again I'll scream. It's highly contagious.
And talking of the charts... Here's 30-20.

Queen - Flash
And talking of no. 20, here's Queen. They've gone and done a bit of film-score for this new retro-scifi movie based on the classic "Flash Gordon" series. Very exciting it is too! "We only have 14 hours to save the earth!" Classic!

Talking of the charts .. 19-10.

The Stray Cats - Runaway Boys
Now up to no. 10, and as we've said before the Stray Cats may well have been another nostalgic rockabilly band but (talking of Flash Gordon), there's literally light years between these guys and, say, Matchbox and that other lot. Good luck to 'em.

"And talking of numbers.." 9-1......( he actually said that) STOP IT!! It's St Winifred's School Clone-Choir coming up dangerously at no. 2, but..

Abba - Super Trouper
They're still where you think they always have been for the past six years or so, and indeed sad to think this is for the last time ever at the top of the singles charts at least. Oh well at least we get to see some lovely laydees .. Oh and surprise surprise again...it's the closing titles over the no. 1! Since when??!?!?

Oh it's probably because of this.....

John Lennon - Imagine (live) [Lennon obit.]
Skinner actually manages to get through this without saying 'talking of..' which is just as well as the moment really is terribly sombre and quite rightly, and tastefully, placed just outside the usual Pops schedule. As an obit we're shown a very modern looking Lennon in red jump suit with acoustic guitar bashing out a version of Imagine, a song which to this day only he can sing properly. Not quite how we collectively remember Lennon perhaps, and the Beeb apparently had to apologise for showing this particular clip as his assassin Mark Chapman was actually in the audience of that occasion, but we'll have plenty of chances to see other video clips in the weeks to come. All very sad, and even sadder that to this very day his anthem is still being pulled out and chanted in these troubled times of mindless violence. Sorry John, the world still ain't living as one...

It may have been fitting to finish 1980 just here, but we've still one more repeated TOTP80 to go, but sadly no Christmas edition. Good night.