Chart Music #58: October 23rd 1980 – Top Of The Gear

The latest episode of the podcast which asks: has anyone really ever done that to someone else’s nostrils? Come on, now!

Neither willing to go out and pissed off with staying in, your favourite podcast about old episodes of Top Of The Pops elects to bury its head once more into the comforting bosom of the Eighventies, so come and join us, Pop-Crazed Youngsters – it’s a many-teated beast.

This particular episode of The Pops sees our Thursday-evening treat still enclagged with the amorphous goo off the chrysalis it emerged from after the Musicians Union strike of the summer. They’ve had celebrity guests, a news section, two interviews with The Old Sailor and a wedding announcement from Dollar, but this week they’ve gone too far: they’ve done a tie-in with the 1980 Motor Show and filled the studio with cars that no-one can actually see and none of the audience gives the slightest fleck of a toss about. And oh dear; the combination of the smell of new car and the sight of bored-looking women in Talbot t-shirts standing about brings on predictable changes in our host, clad in a racing driver one-piece with the zip slung low: The Living Gnasher Badge…

Musicwise, it’s cast-iron proof that 1980 really was the Ken of the Eighventies. Quo tap their noses at us as they lumber into the new decade. The Nolans get ready to rip through Japan like a four-headed Kay’s Catalogue Godzilla. Andy McCluskey gets given a bass in a doomed attempt to put him off his dancing. Poor Legs & Co get stared at by blokes in cars, like a Disco version of Never Go With Strangers. The Number One is more adult-orientated rammel. And DLT goes full-on PLP with Elkie Brooks.

Rock Expert David Stubbs and Taylor Parkes join Al Needham for a leaf through the Exchange and Mart of Pop, swooping off on such tangents as how rubbish it’s going to be when we come out of lockdown, how unprepared your local market was for the onset of New Romantic, Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Erotic Meat Buffet, Eighties synth-duo intermarriage, and SCREW YOU, JOANNE GREENWOOD FROM CLASS 4A.

(Swearing)

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Dave Lee Travis, Status Quo, The Nolans

Part Three: Gilbert O’Sullivan, Kelly Marie, Air Supply, Kate Bush

Part Four: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Ottawan, Barbra Streisand, Coffee

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