Pick of the Pops 10 (27.2.86)

God, I still hate 1986. A rubbish year for chart music - and loads of other things, but I won't let that blight/influence my opinions on this week's pop smorgasbord.

Belouis Some - Imagination: and I was SO looking forward to this weekend, an' all. Not up there with 80s musical ruiners Stock, Aitken and Waterman (or Bob Geldof - obviously), and with a first name which calls to mind Australian thesp Lucky Grills, Mr Some's record is enough to bring back my year-long depression, which - to be honest - is not B'louis's, nor indeed a calendar year's fault. But neither helped. A perennial charity shop 12" orphan. 2/10

Huey Lewis and the News - The Power of Love: I remember seeing Norm from Cheers at a Comicon sitting all forlorn and waiting for someone to ask him to pose for a photo, and thinking: "Remember when he made that ace joke about 'Vera' looking like Huey Lewis?" I didn't ask him for a photo, though. Oh, and Carla from 'Cheers' is the worst character in the history of sitcom. Fact. Apart from the entire cast of 'Bread', of course. 1/10

Double - The Captain of Her Heart: me and Sal were once in a restaurant in Berlin when some Gary Davies lookalike in a tux started playing the piano for the diners. We had a ten Euro bet on 'the nearest to it' for the next song. Sal said Bruce Hornsby's 'The Way it Is'; I reckoned it would be Double's TCOHH. I was spot on. She reckoned I'd seen the 'set list' and only paid up with bad grace.
I've loved Swiss pop's second greatest duo ever since. 4/10

Shakin' Stevens - something or other. 0/10

Depeche Mode - Stripped: I love DM, but you wouldn't put this on (so to speak) for pleasure. 5/10

James Brown - Living in America: James Brown for people who don't like James Brown. 1/10

The Bangles - Manic Monday: another week, another Bangles cover. Written by Prince, and let's face it, Susanna's ace. 6/10

Paul Hardcastle - Don't Waste My Time: the fact that Hardcastle turned out to be/always was a massive Billy Britain/Brexity wanker shouldn't really influence my opinion regarding his musical worth. But it does. Luckily, this record is really, really shit. 1/10

Sigue Sigue Sputnik: Love Missile 1-11: rubbish. And great. A brilliant Giorgio Moroder's production makes up for the ridiculousness of the song. Jesus, I really hope something decent turns up soon or this will be the lead song and video link this week. 6/10

Whitney Houston - How Will I Know? : a technically brilliant singer, but apart from the fabulous 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody', she made terrible, anodyne pop. This is mall music. 2/10

Survivor - Burning Heart: if James Brown's 'Rocky 4' song was bad, its saving grace is that it's not 'Eye of the Tiger' from 'Rocky 3'. Here, Survivor re-write their Oscar-winning (!) song just to annoy good, decent, honest folk everywhere. Unbelievably shite. 1/10

The Damned - Eloise: it's hard to do a bad version of Claude Francois's ace song. I love the Paul and Barry Ryan version, and this is just great. And I love The Damned - and can even forgive Captain Sensible for playing naked at one of their many gigs I've attended over the years. 6/10

Su Pollard - Starting Together: I was once at a wedding (1986) where the bride and groom's opening dance was this record. It wasn't ironic. It was like I didn't know them. My jaw smashed as it hit the floor. The marriage didn't last. 0/10

Diana Ross - Chain Reaction: one of those records where producer/writer Barry Gibb can't stop himself from taking over and overdubbing his backing falsetto to ridiculous heights and making those odd 'BeeGee' Sounds he is wont to make (see loads of other records, but especially Samantha Sang's 'Emotions'). He almost spoils a good record. 7/10

Billy Ocean - When the Going Gets Tough: oh my God - he's on every effing week. I've said it before, I like the man, but he made some horrible records (and some decent ones in the seventies). It seems like every other record is from a crap American film ('Back to the Future' excepted) this week. Terrible song - even worse video). 0/10

Programme as a whole: possibly the worst I've ever heard. 0/10
Best Song: very slim pickings. Diana Ross (click on the link to hear the song) 
Worst: Hardcastle