Chart Music #5: August 14th 1980 – Watch Yer Backs!


The fifth episode of the podcast which asks: why is Richard Stilgoe going on about acne?

This episode finds Top Of The Pops smack in the middle of the Eighventies in a state of flux, after being off air for nine weeks due to a Musicians Union strike. The Kids are sat on the floor, the set is even more sparse than usual, and they’re experimenting with guest co-hosts – a process which would start with Elton John and end with, er, Russ Abbot. This week, it’s Tommy Vance and Roger Daltrey – The McVicar Himself – who takes crumpet-leering to heights that not even DLT would think possible, moans about The Clash not being on (when everyone else knows they don’t do TOTP), and casts that aspersion upon the Village People.

Musicwise, we carom from Ultravox awkwardly dancing behind synths to Legs & Co channelling the spirit of the International Day episode of Peppa Pig to the Dad in Worzel Gummidge performing an old song which isn’t a patch on I Got Those Can’t Get Enough Of Those Blue Riband Blues to Grace Jones with a fag on to David Bowie’s dead expensive new video to Abba putting a right downer on everything at the end with their adult relationship break-up palaver. And the drummer of Slade sits there with a shaker for no real reason at all.

Al Needham is joined by Taylor Parkes and David Stubbs for a through evisceration of 1980, veering off to talk about how Roger Daltrey put them off meat for life, what it’s like to stop the night at Benny Out Of Abba’s hotel, and how being dressed as a Pierrot on an orange beach and reacting to having your picture taken by a paparazzo as if you’ve been shot is a bit rubbish, really. And loads of swearing.

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5 thoughts on “Chart Music #5: August 14th 1980 – Watch Yer Backs!

  1. For some reason I can’t reply to the April 12 1979 show, so I’ll have to put my 2pth here.

    I’m pretty sure the reason we only got a minute of Bright Eyes was because, in the 2014 repeat, BBC 4 couldn’t stump up enough cash for the rights to show it all – but they could just about get away with a minutes worth (The original broadcast would have shown the whole video).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking about this the other day. Presumably in 1980, using a clip of a current film would be free, because it would effectively be an advert for the film (aware that the world doesn’t actually work like that, with millions of people watching, any fee would be worth stumpring up) – whereas in 2017 it might cost *something*, depending on how greedy the rights holders were.
      They did a similar thing a few years back when the Grease records were in the charts – showing Legs and Co instead of the film clips they used in the original broadcast.
      Oddly, the current repeats feature songs from Footloose – and the repeats have clips.
      Hiyah Dafposter, by the way! Hiyah!!

      Liked by 1 person

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