Chart Music #64: April 26th 1984 – Metal Mickey Dropping His Guts

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; does playing Legend by Bob Marley constitute a hate crime?

Finally, Chart Music gets off its fat arse, gets on its bike and starts looking for a job, and it’s a particularly fraught one: rummaging through an episode from the arse-end of the Yellow Hurll era in an attempt to find anything nourishing and skill. It’s the other side of Easter ’84, and your panel are a) not bothering to revise for CSEs which are useless in Thatcher’s Britain, b) failing to understand the Greek alphabet and wondering why anyone in Coventry would need to learn it, and c) playing gigs in a Barry shopping centre and trying to make acoustic guitars sound like the Jesus and Mary Chain. The good news is that Top Of The Pops is still a beacon of Pop Nowness. The bad news: over a year ahead of schedule, the Dinosaurs of Pop have come lumbering back and Simon Bates – frighteningly – doesn’t look out of place in the studio for the first time ever. This, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, isyour Dad’s Top Of The Pops – a half-hour Radio 2 of the soul. 

Musicwise, oh dear; there’s only one teenager on stage in the entire episode. Morrissey shows how right-on and inclusive he is by letting Sandie Shaw borrow his band for a while. A cursed Mayan mask with the mouth of Phil Collins soundtracks some horrific morning dog-breathed snogging. Belle and the Devotions prepare to be booed at in Luxembourg. Island Records de-Rastacise Bob Marley by 110% and recreate the opening credits of Pigeon Street. Duran Duran make their long-awaited return to the UK and demonstrate that reports of their demise are premature. Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias practically come on to each other. Our Bands are represented by Echo and the Bunnymen. The Flying Pickets have one last warm against the brazier of the charts before the Massive Clay Head pulls us into its orbit.

Neil Kulkarni and Simon Price join Al Needham for a long, hard stare at 1984, whirling off into such tangents as having Xmas ruined by Ed Sheeran, the majesty of studded gauntlets, recreating images of Bob Marley with football mascots, getting punched in the stomach by Eurovision winners, Effing and Jeffing in an Osmonds’ house, now not to commence that vital gig in a Chilean prison, petals in beer at Cardiff Uni, and the proud parents of Alien Sex Fiend. GO FOR IT, Pop-Crazed Youngsters – and enjoy all that lovely swearing…

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Simon Bates, Janice Long, Sandie Shaw & The Smiths, Phil Collins

Part Three: Belle and the Devotions, Bob Marley, Duran Duran

Part Four: Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Flying Pickets, Lionel Richie, The Pointer Sisters

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