Tag Archives: 1981

“Time just rolls on and on” – Top of the Pops, 13 August 1981

Soft Cell

Ah, it’s Housewives’ Favourite (“Favourite what?” I hear you cry) Simon Bates, bringing a much needed air of decorum to proceedings in his sensible beige blazer, black slacks and salmon pink shirt which he probably thinks a bit daring. Looking … read more

“Don’t kid yourself you’ve seen it all before” – Top of the Pops, 6 August 1981

The Human League

“Ho-ho! Yes indeed! How about that!” Oops, look out, it’s Creepy Uncle Jimmy™ again, ruining another episode of TOTP with his continued unwelcome presence. This week he’s kitted out in a yellow satin top with “26.2” written on it – … read more

“Always the sound in my brain, can you hear it?” – Top of the Pops, 30 July 1981

The Undertones

It’s Steve Wright – yes it is! You can tell because he’s wearing a huge badge bearing the slogan “YES IT IS”, dating this edition to somewhere in the brief period when he was trying ever so hard to popularise … read more

Off The Chart: 10 September 1981

Off The Chart: 10 September 1981

It’s 1981 on this week’s Off The Chart as Steve and Julian play some of the week’s forgotten hits, three tracks from a featured album and the top five in full. Just how many terrible medley singles are there in … read more

“In this great future you can’t forget your past” – Top of the Pops, 9 July 1981

The Specials

Time for a celebration, as Michael Hurll has got his abacus out and decided that we’ve reached the 900th edition of Top of the Pops. Blow up the balloons! Break out the streamers! Bring on the dancing girls! And then … read more

Off The Chart: 2 July 1981

Off The Chart: 2 July 1981

Revisiting the chart of 2 July 1981. Steve and Julian play the records you don’t normally hear on a chart show, as well as three tracks from a featured album of the week and the entire top five singles, whether … read more

“Too much fighting on the dance floor” – Top of the Pops, 2 July 1981

Bad Manners

Finally! After months and months of recycling the same tired joke, the powers that be at TOTP have finally taken my advice and commissioned a proper theme tune and title sequence. Don’t tell anyone though, because it’s still under wraps … read more

“You’ve got to get up to get down” – Top of the Pops, 25 June 1981

Depeche Mode

Rush rush, busy busy, rush rush, busy busy! A combination of a condensed thirty minute show due to Wimbledon fortnight, the continuing lack of a proper opening sequence and a poorly chosen first song with a short intro means that … read more

“I feel my spirit’s getting old” – Top of the Pops, 18 June 1981

Odyssey

“Hi folks! Welcome to Top of the Pops once again!” Well, hello sailor. It’s solid, reliable Peter Powell in charge this week, in a strangely nautical white shirt with navy blue stripes and – yes! – red trousers. A full … read more

“Please remember to mention me in tapes you leave behind” – Top of the Pops, 11 June 1981

Landscape

Looking for a 54-year-old silver haired loon in a ridiculous tracksuit made up of random, uneven patches of different gaudy colours, desperately attempting to stay relevant to the record buying audience despite being old enough to be their grandfather? It’s … read more

“Following the footsteps of a rag doll dance” – Top of the Pops, 4 June 1981

Imagination

“Yes, it’s Top of the Pops with today eleven top acts!” Six months on from Richard Skinner’s first solo hosting gig and Operation Make Skinner Look Less Like A Newsreader And More Like A Human Being is finally seeing some … read more

“You said it all, though not many had ears” – Top of the Pops, 28 May 1981

Hazel O'Connor

Hey everyone, let’s play “good news / bad news”! The good news is, after missing a huge chunk of musical history due to presenters’ off-screen activities and someone’s inability to record a live programme for the archive, BBC Four viewers … read more