Chart Music #52: February 14th 1985 – British People React To REO Speedwagon

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: if The Smiths were still making singles today, would they have a still from Sex Lives Of The Potato Men on the cover?

The latest episode – another five hour-plus plunge into the very depths of your favourite Pop TV show – lands us on the very perineum ‘twixt Band Aid and Live Aid, in a shameful era when even the Weetabix are pretending to be American street youths, and on the very cusp of the achingly slow decline of The Pops. The majority of the Zoo Wankers have been culled, the flags and balloons are being reined in, and even though it’s Valentine’s Day, the roiling sexual chemistry between Simon Bates and Janice Long has been dialled right down. Thank God.

Musicwise, oof: Top Of The Pops throw the kitchen sink of Pop at us, with no less than 21 acts getting a shine, resulting in 1985 looking better than it has any right to be. This Year’s Most Lovable Bisexual puts a wrecking ball plastered with mirrors through the wall of the charts while he threatens legal action against his label for being mingebags. The Commodores don a black vinyl poppy for their fallen comrades. Bill Sharpe and Gary Numan look at a fax machine. The entire show is derailed when Jonathan King forces us to look at some chlorinated American stodge, but put firmly back on track when Jaz Coleman stares at us. Morrissey machine-guns the audience. Kool and the Gang channel the spirit of Girlyman. And there’s a load of mid-Eighties rammel.

Taylor Parkes and Neil Kulkarni wrap their Dads’ ties around their heads and join fellow Street Punk Al Needham for a rampage through the streets of 1985, veering off on such tangents as rubbish Americans not understanding Ribena, getting started on for laughing at the death of Apollo Creed, why standing on a boardroom table for a publicity shot isn’t a good idea, why sneering at girls singing a love song directly at their music teacher is an even worse idea, and a revisit to the Perils of Priapic Price. You know there’s gonna be swearing.

Part 1: Preamble


Part 2: Dead Or Alive, The Commodores, The Colourfield


Part 3: REO Speedwagon, David Lee Roth, Hall and Oates, George Michael, Killing Joke


Part 4: Sharpe & Numan, Kool and the Gang, Don Henley, The Smiths, Barbara Dickson & Elaine Paige, Eugene Wilde


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