Pick of the Pops 13 (20.3.84)

Slade - Run Run Away: Noddy and co blatantly steal Big Country's 'Harvest Home' (including Stuart Adamson's 'skirling bagpipe' guitar sound) for quite a jolly pop record. 4/10

Rockwell - Someone's Watching Me: there are elements of Ghostbusters (a song which rips off at least three others) in Mr Motown's son's fairly decent single. 6/10

Alexei Sayle - Ullo, John - Got a New Motor? I love Lex - principled, massively talented and funny - and regularly shows up the right wing of the Labour Party (Blair, the despicable Margaret Hodge, Mandelson and phony poverty porn pedlar Alan 'F***ING' Johnson) for being Tories in disguise. His recent interview with Owen Jones really showed up the cluelessness of The Guardian's (generally OK) cuddly leftie of choice. Having said all that, I never want to hear this single again. 2/10

Culture Club - It's a Miracle: depoliticised from its original 'It's American' roots, but a classy, effortless - if somewhat disposable - pop song. Bonus point for having Michael Sundin in the video. 7/10

Billy Joel - An Innocent Man: this week's 'Jesus, when is this going to end?' song. Surprisingly, one of the least offensive songs on a really horrible album. 3/10

Van Halen - Jump: Dave Lee Roth is almost the epitome of the word 'knobhead'*. A great single. (As noted by Roddy Frame - whose Aztec Camera cover is - sadly- nowhere near as good as the original.) 7/10

Sade - You're Love is King: Sade's music was rightly lampooned for being a Yuppie/dumbass lifestyle accoutrement when it was released in '84, but time is a great healer. I bought the vinyl album last year for two quid at a record fair - and it's surprisingly OK. And it reminds me that I don't want to see Robert Elms in another documentary for at least the next eighty years (I'll never get those Sky Arts 'Blitz Kids' two hours of my life back**). 5/10

Banararama: Robert De Niro's Waiting - Joe and I were waiting for a film to start in Fact a few years back when the trailer for De Niro's 'Dirty Grandpa' came on. It took me back to my embarrassment whilst watching 'Don' t Look Now' with my folks. Yes - THAT scene. It was that bad. I did Bananarama last week. This is an OK record - apart from some of iis present tense continuous verb choices. 5/10

Phil Fearon and Galaxy - What Do I Do? Despite his geography teacher name, Phil Fearon had a slew of gentle, catchy pop songs in the eighties. This is the best. 7/10

Nik Kershaw - "Wouldn't it Be Good... to be in your house, even it was JUST across the road?" Frank Sidebottom's cover version was so much better. 3/10

The Weather Girls - It's Raining Men: a 'milkshake' clarion call for 'fun-loving' halfwits to take to the dance floor the world over. Hideous. 0/10

Kool and the Gang - Joanna: I really ought to like Robert Bell and the boys much more than I do, but they made too many substandard records. This is OK, I suppose. 5/10

Break Machine - Street Dance: if I hadn't have been too old, I'd have been in Clayton Square with my roll of lino, believe me. Good song, and an extra point for the Adidas 'Luton Town' trackies. 8/10

Nena - 99 Red Balloons: I like Nena's opening vocal, but as soon as the synthesisers kick in, I'm off (and I love synthesisers, me). It reminds me so much of a nightmarish era for TOTP - ghastly dancers dotted all over the show, streamers, ra-ra skirts, deely-boppers, DLT and of course, balloons - just to tell the audience how much fun they were having. Terrible. 2/10

Lionel Richie - Hello: like being tortured. Slowly. A truly ghastly, turd-like record. 0/10

*And a wool, of course. Never forget that.
**Although having seen the poverty from which both Gary Kemp*** and Midge Ure escaped, I can now forgive them for many of their crimes.
***But not Martin 'I ❤️ Boris and Brexit' Kemp, though.

Programme as a whole: 5/10
Best Song: Break Machine
Worst: Richie/Weather Girls

Don't forget it's only pop music etc...