Chart Music #16: December 22nd 1983 – Hold On, Here Comes Jism

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The latest edition of the podcast which asks: if the Thompson Twins made you a sandwich, would you want to eat it?

It’s Christmas Time, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, but there’s no need to be afraid – because we’re a full year away from any Band Aid rubbishness. It’s the last episode of The Pops before Xmas of 1983, and the studio is festooned with balloons and party hats, making it just like every other episode that year. And what a line-up (sneered at by John Peel and jollied along by Kid Jensen) it isn’t!

Musicwise, this is the mankiest Selection Box of teeth-loosening dessicated cat shit we’ve come across in a long while. Out go the Synth-mentalists of a few years ago, and in come in bare-footed, frizz-haired Serious Musicians. Terry and Arfur pop up to flog one of the crappiest Christmas songs ever, a Breakfast TV puppet with johnnies for ears defiles hip-hop, and Paul McCartney has a war with himself. On the plus side, Billy Joel goes back 20 years to leer at some girls having a pyjama party, Slade go back ten years and ignore a couple of Zoo Wankers, and Culture Club put a full orchestra in serious danger.  And the No.1 is properly right-on.

Neil Kulkarni and Simon Price join Al Needham for this one, and have a good stare through the window of late 1983 like Dickensian urchins, breaking off to discuss such important matters as sex education videos of the 80s, running into Mrs McCluskey in a charity shop, asking lead singers how to get to Wales while they’re nobbing someone up against a tour bus, and the curse of Sta-Prest Fanny. With all the swearing you could ever want.

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Chart Music #15: September 4th 1980 – BA Robertson’s Hairdresser Thinks It’s Fantastic

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The latest edition of the podcast which asks: what is the least Mod Dungeons & Dragons character?

This episode, Pop-Crazed Youngsters, has been cursed by the tang of man-flu and dodgy microphones, meaning it’s not at the usual hi-fidelity standard you’ve come to expect from Chart Music. But what an incident-packed go-around on the morbid carousel of Pop it is! There’s wave after wave of guest appearances from people who really shouldn’t have bothered, such as Cliff, his specky henchman Hank Marvin, and none other than co-host KEGGY KEEGLE HIMSELF facing down DLT in a perm-off.

Thanks to Simon getting an unexpected birthday present, we have possession of a full shooting script of an episode from The Popses’ post-strike regeneration, and we try to break the codes therein. Musicwise, the Mod revival rides itself right off the cliff, Kelly Marie and Sheena Easton put on their best Bingo Jumpsuits, Cliff does his Danger Dancing routine next to a keyboard player in Alan Partridge shorts, Randy Crawford’s heartbreakingly brilliant performance is ruined by a vision mixer who makes her look like the alien off Alien, and Nicholas Lyndhurst, Martin Shaw and Dennis Waterman rule over the charts.

Al Needham is joined by Simon Price and David Stubbs for a good hard leer at the autumn of 1980, veering off – as always – on tangents such as trying to be a 12 year-old Ace Face when everyone’s seen your Dad drag you out of a boating lake at Skegness Butlins, why adding the Poo-Poo drum machine over Joy Division records in clubs will never get old, having a good laugh at younger brothers who get beaten up in town for wearing the wrong badges, pathological hatred of Plastic Mods, and flares. And swearing, swearing, all the time swearing.

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