Pick of the Pops 42 (November 27th 1982)

Madness - Our House 

Madness at their very best - a glorious pop song mixing an ace 'Madness' chorus with lush orchestral backing. Extra points for its inclusion in The Young Ones (the one with Brian 'Damage' Bolowski) and the enigmatic line: "She's the one they'll miss - in lots of ways." 8/10

Yazoo - The Other Side of Love 

I usually quite like Alf Tupper and Vince Hill's output, but this sounds like a b-side; a crap one at that. 3/10

Lionel Richie - Truly

Lionel rewrites his own song 'Still' and achieves an even higher chart placing. The quarter-of-a-million- pounds-a-year Gambaccini introduced some quotidian facts about two of the  songs going down the chart by saying 'Truly' - before using the comedic gold rule of three to introduce this song's title. I often wish they'd double the licence fee on days like this. 3/10

Musical Youth - The Youth of Today

Just terrible. 1/10

Donna Summer - State of Independence

Given its antecedents and its strange, stately musical procession, this song should be shit. It's ace! 8/10

A Flock of Seagulls - Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of Thee)

A quite lovely single from an unfairly dismissed band. Alright, they looked horrible and they were inspired by Wishbone Ash, but if I ended up the worse for wear after a Toffees' match and lost my copy of top soccer fanzine WSAG, I could always count on getting a replacement from 'the ex drummer of A Flock of Seagulls's' sweet shop, tobacconist and nudie mag emporium on Dale Street. 7/10

Blue Zoo - Cry Boy Cry

A pop song that sounds urgent, but isn't. Extra point awarded for playing Carol's freshers' ball.. 4/10

Duran Duran - Rio

This is actually a nice pop song with a winning chorus, but I don't know...they're just such c**ts,  aren't they?

Apologies. For the tagging. Obviously. 0/10

Rene and Renato - Save Your Love 0/10

Blancmange - Living on the Ceiling

Not much to say about this. An ace single. 8/10

Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing

And this. 8/10

Wham  - Wham Rap

NME single of the week, and Wham's one foray into (tangential) politics. Quite good, but it keeps reminding me of Captain Sensible's 'foray' into rap. OK. Ish. 5/10

Dionne Warwick - Heartbreaker

I know most folk would plump (an odd verb) for her 60s/Burt Bacharach output - to look cool and hard and trendy - but this is my favourite Dionne. A brilliant Barry Gibb production and one of his best songwriting achievements - and that's saying something. A really sad song and beautifully sung. 9/10

The Human League - Mirror Man

If I'd have reached the final of Mastermind - and I was one point out on each occasion (he said, grinding the ball bearings into his palm), I would have chosen 'The League' as my final choice. (On the second occasion, anyway.) I know it's dumbing down, but have you seen the shite they're passing off as specialist subjects these days? 'The Life and Times of Richard Madeley', 'My Shoes' and 'Former Names For Snickers' have all featured recently, and would have had Fred Housego spinning in his grave, had he been dead. If I'd have made the final, I would have made the BBC pay for an all-expenses paid trip to Sheffield, and maybe I could have conned them into an afternoon trip to Rotherham, as well. That's how crazy am.Anyway, 'Mirror Man' - pretty, pretty good, I reckon. I love The League, me. 7/10

Eddy Grant - I Don't Wanna Dance

It's alright. Nothing great, like, but alright. 5/10

So, all in all, a pretty good show. Nothing to make me swear or put my foot through my cheap Japanese transistor radio (with the one hearing-aid style 'headphone'), and some belting tunes to boot.

Whatever that means.

Programme as a whole: 7/10

Gambaccini: 2/10

Best: Dionne

Worst: the two meffs.