Pick of the Pops 41 (November 20th 1984)

Pick of the Pops 41 (November 20th 1984)

November 20th 1984 - still at Cambridge. Three of us went to The Royal Oak to write the joint university presentation we were supposed to have written the week before. We suggested "a maximum of two pints" to aid the creative process, but we were having such a good time that we overdid things. The two Liverpool lads (my good friend Jim and I) were OK, but the southern softie we were with was sick everywhere and was barred.

"We're not with him - he just kept coming over and annoying us," we lied to the landlady as we sought our a more salubrious table away from the scene of the mopped-up nastiness.

Anyway, we finished our submission (in crayon, probably), but a good night out was slightly marred by Radio reports of future Toffees' striker Paul Wilkinson nodding a late winner for Grimsby Town in the League Cup at Goodison Park.

Great days!

Anyway, pop music...

Slade - We All Join Hands

The truly brilliant 'Coz I Love You' aside, I can't listen to Slade. Here, Noddy and Jim eschew their traditional yob-pleasing racket with a Frogs' Chorus-esque, emasculated aim at the Christmas/New Year market.

Shit. 0/10

Alvin Stardust - I Won't Run Away

Bernard/Shane/Alvin's paean to not zipping off when you get one's 'ladyfriend' up the stick. He wants some sort of medal, evidently. It reminds me of my favourite stand-up set from Chris Rock: "It's what you're SUPPOSED to do, you low-expectation motherfucker!" (4/10)

ZZ Top - Give Me All Your Lovin'

This turned up on an old chart show I was listening to on my first train journey after Lockdown this year. It sounded f***ing ace! I think it was partly the joy of escaping metaphysical/psychic prison and partly the debilitating effects of getting older, but I didn't care. I'm 'down' with Frank, Billy and Dusty* these days. 7/10 (Really!)

The Temptations - Treat Her Like a Lady

These people sang 'Just My Imagination' and the game-changing 'Ball of Confusion'.

I could just imagine Paul Shane having a go at 'THLAL'.

While he was on the toilet.

Terrible! 2/10

The Pointer Sisters - I'm So Excited

Not their best effort and inextricably linked with some horrible advert for Cadbury's** Caramel. I have three vinyl albums from the The Pointer Sisters - it's fair to say they move from the sublime to the horrific with majestic ease. 2/10

Wham - Freedom

He knew how to write a tune, George. Annoying, but paradoxically OK. 4/10

Chicago- Hard Habit to Break

Chicago's lovely 1970 song 'Another Rainy Day in New York City' gets a weekly whirl as I'm selling books. 80s Chicago are a different proposition: mawkish, unpleasant to listen to, and most of all, boring. Peter Cetera always reminds me of Grange Hill/Tucker's Luck villain 'Booger Benson'; so for those reasons, it's a big zero from me. 0/10

Eurythmics - Sex Crime (1984)

Terrible/risible chorus excepted, this is a rather good pop song. Annie's vocals are ace. There - I've said it. I presume (the) Eurythmics hadn't seen as much as a  rough cut of the appallingly grim/miserable/drab John Hurt/Richard Burton film version of Orwell's grim and miserable (but not drab) novel. If so, this offering was as big a misjudgement as the day Julia Roberts decided to jump in the sack with Lyle Lovett. 5/10

Billy Ocean - Carribean Queen.

I've been a bit harsh with nice guy Billy's 80s output over the course 2021. Apologies to his fans. 4/10

Nik Kershaw - The Riddle

As poor a pop star as Olly Murs. Some woman once made me a mixtape in the mid-80s. It was labelled 'Synthesizer!' I wasn't happy with the 'z' (and the presumptuousness of imagining - FOR ONE MINUTE - that I'd enjoy an unsolicited selection of some of the dubious choices found on the C90) , but the inclusion of Nik's 'enigmatic classic' meant that I had to give her the 'It's not you - it's me' routine*** shortly afterwards. Yes - I'm THAT shallow . 1/10

Limahl - Never Ending Story

This was on it as well! F***ing Limahl (as was Gambaccini's one time wont). Much worse than this song is the creepy, terrible, shitty and sinisterly weird film from which it came. 3/10

Duran Duran - The Wild Boys

Even by their standards... 0/10

Jim Diamond - I Should Have Known Better

He unfriended me after a late night/early morning drunken nark, so I can now reveal that my ex-university, ex-FB chum (who will remain nameless) once bought PhD ('Diamo's first band) 'I Won't Let You Down' believing it to be the work of some Detroit soul diva. The nobhead. This particular record is as bad as anything on Pick of the Pops in 2021. 

Phucking Dreadful. (PhD) 0/10

Chaka Khan - I Feel For You

The best 45 of the 80s? Deliriously brilliant pop music.

The best record this week by a billion miles. 10/10


Gambaccini - 7/10

Programme as a Whole - 3/10

Best Song - Chaka

Worst - Diamond/"Wahld Boys!"

*Hill. Not 'Dusty Mop', the cantankerous,aggressive puppet/cleaning implement from ITV children's/hard drug users' daytime TV favourite 'Hickory House'. 

**Another ghastly company/shower of bastards on my (ever-expanding) ethical boycott list.

***By phone.Public phone. "Sorry - I've got no more ten pees..." What a weasel! What a coward! 

Click on the link to hear the song!