Pick of the Pops 75 (13.8.82)

My 1982 is a world of shiny New Pop emerging from the ashes of punk and new wave -and all sorts of esoteric indie bands (before indie became a generic catch-all for skinny jeaned white lads with guitars).

It was as fine an era for pop music as anything which came before or since.

As usual, you'd never guess this from the plethora of bad records and endless covers in this week's POTP.

Whatever...here's this week's songs:

Tom Tom Club Under the Boardwalk
Third single into their career. The game is up. A pity as Genius of Love Is one of my favourite singles. Legendarily, David Byrne made Talking Heads  bandmate Tina Weymouth audition (reapply) for the bassist spot she already held in the band when a record contract was secured with Sire. Is it just me who thinks: why didn't she tell him to stick his record contract (and the bass guitar) up his arse?



Junior - Too Late
I'd forgotten this one. It's quite nice. I really like this era of Brit funk.

Recent regular readers (yes, plural) would expect me to veer off and start some strange, nonsensical musings about Yorkshire TV's proto-X Factor Junior Showtime, but I won't, mainly because

a) anyone under 55 will have no idea what I'm talking about (plus ça change), and

b) despite numerous sessions of laser removal treatment, those Glyn Poole and Mark Currie tattoos refuse to budge; and the Bobby Bennett one*  looks like it was inked only yesterday.

*On my arse. Naturally.


"Ay up, Sal; is your Stephen playing out? Brexit, Brexit, BREXIT!"

"I've told you before, Neil: he's not allowed to play with you."

"Oh, please, Sal! Royal Family, Our Lads, Brexit, Brexit, BREXIT!"

"Goodbye, Neil."

"Pleee-ase! I promise I won't go on about any of me patriotic beliefs....

[The door remains closed.]

"Oh, shit.... BREXIT!"


Donna Summer - Love Is In Control

Written by Rod*, produced by Quincy**, sung by Donna***. A good record. 7/10

*Temperton - Of Rod, Jane and Freddie fame

**The bad tempered, permanently tumescent LA medical examiner. My pitch (to both Marvel and DC) of a permanently tumescent LA medical examiner in an ill-fitting syrup superhero fell on deaf ears..

The world just wasn't ready for JACKKLUG-MAN, I suppose.

***Donna Stell

Paul McCartney - Take It Away
I know I've eulogised McCartney this year, but I'd forgotten that in the 80s, he brought out useless records like this, month after month.
This is shit! 3/10

Belle Starrs - The Clapping Song
Such a collection of talents - a feminist, original and often fearless band - and yet they end up playing the game and bringing out lowest common denominator, annoying, desperate-to crack-the-charts crap like this. 0/10

Japan - I Second That Emotion
Luckily Gambaccini didn't play the god-like genius of The Firm's Arthur Daley, He's Alright and opted for this Arista cash-in on Japan's big success with Virgin. I would have liked to have heard David Sylvian crooning "Arthur Daley, a little dodgy maybe; but underneath he's alright" - rather than his (admittedly rather nice cover) of the SRATM classic. 6/10

Bad Manners - My Girl Lollipop 
It's not going well this week, is it? Fucking hell. 0/10


"Go Pontin - or I'll send the boys rahnd to break your facking kneecaps."

The Stranglers - Strange Little Girl
The Stranglers' purple patch comes to an end with this dilatory, turd-like record.  When punk finally hit the Beano, (somewhere in 78, and a full year before its effects were felt in Coronation Street), it arrived via a simple poster outside the venue where a 'rock singer' was belting out 'Yeah! Yeah! Beano is best!' and was advertising the two punk bands in question: The Strugglers and the Roomtown Cats.

As regular readers of this drivel will attest, I have great problems with disassociating myself with juxtaposed or latched-on images and sounds, so - in my mind - for forty four years now, Monsieur Burnel's and Mr Geldof's* bands have remained ensconced as The Strugglers and The Roomtown Cats respectively.

My problem. Obviously.

*There's lots to dislike about Bob Geldof, but anyone who has read Gerry Agar's (the Geldof/Yates nanny) scurrilous, mean hearted book must feel a grain of sympathy for Bob when Paula announces she's leaving him. It's a genuinely desperately sad and unnerving picture of a human being at their lowest ebb. 



From the mag, 2013 or so.

Kid Creole and the Coconuts - Stool Pigeon

I've just come back from my first trip to Bristol since the 1995 FA Cup fourth round, a match which had a particularly violent aftermath (if you've seen Netflix's excellent but horrible Woodstock 99 - it was EXACTLY LIKE THAT, with the sole exception of the travelling Toffees fans not being subjected to Korn, the 'Chilis'* or Fred fucking Durst and his Flaccid Biscuits), but was leavened by the bottle of Galliano and the polythene bag of sandwiches and Top Brass lager which my elder brother had thoughtfully procured for the journey home.

Anyway, not once during my 2022 midweek break's musings did I mention the Bristol Stool Chart. Not only was it a sign that I was gaining wisdom whilst also shedding the immaturity of my wild years, it meant that I missed out on setting up the greatest Alternative Mastermind question:

Clive Myrie: What is the more popular name for a 'Number 7' on the Bristol Stool Chart?

One Of Those New Type of Contestants On MM Who Do Love Island 2017-19 For Their Specialist Subject And Then Score Two Or Three Points On the General Knowledge Round: A smoothie?

Clive Myrie: Correct.

Anyway, it's the worst track on the fairly decent Fresh Fruit From Foreign Places album. August Darnell (Kid C himself) is one of the few English teachers to have made the transition from the classroom to the world of rock and pop. Others include arty 70s singer sonwriter Clifford T Ward and  - amazingly - Fred Durst, who was Second in Department / i/c literacy at St Chad's  secondary modern in the Bronx in the mid-90s.

*Like most people, I wouldn't survive physical torture for very long, but I would give up everything I knew in an instance if my torturers said they were going to play that fucking 'Give It Away/Give It Away' monstrosity by the RHCP. Or that stop/start System of a Down effort; or pretty much anything by the Foo Fighters. As you can guess, I only ever watch two channels: QVC Beauty and Kerrang!


ITV 1979 - if you've ever wondered where that bizarre Teardop Explodes lyric "And you can watch Rafferty - turn into a serial" comes from...

Survivor - Eye of the Tiger

Imagine thinking this was GOOD. One and half million people in the UK thought so and actually left the house to buy the bastard. Brexit music. 0/10

Hot Chocolate - It Started With a Piss

Kevin Rowland claimed that this was the best song of 1982, and if you like it, you like it, but to me it'll always be that syrupy shit song with the egg-slicer harps that annoyed me via radio and pub jukebox in the aftermath of Thatcher's illegal Falklands War. Nothing against sentimentality or affection (again regular readers - plural - will know I'm not averse to such outpourings), but not on the hour every hour.

And with egg banjo harps.

A terrible record.


MadnessDriving in My Car
The nadir of Madness’s UK singles career, a dumbass, useless, added (literal bells and whistles cover of Maureen from Driving School's proto-punk classic. 0/10

Mike's Mini Men (Roy of the Rovers comic, 1978) - a girl proves to be better than 'the lads' at Subbuteo. A clever piece of graphic storytelling. The 'It must be a fluke' comment is there to challenge the target audience's perception. Listening to the utter dickheads backing up Graeme Souness's "football's a man's game" comments from the other week, I'm convinced that there's a human stupidity gene that will never be eradicated.

Yazoo - Don't Go 
Not a favourite of mine, but a distinct improvement on the crap that’s on offer this week. 6/10

Irene Cara - Fame
Cutting-edge TV Channel Now 80s have been showing The Kids From Fame for the past few weeks. It’s a fondly-remembered series amongst forty somethings but I didn’t watch it first time round because it looked fucking dreadful.
Turned out I was right all along. 1/10

Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen 

Too-Rye-Aye is a splendid album, and when I first heard this, I - like everyone else - loved it. The only pleasure I get from it these days is singing the odd line or two in the manner of Eddie Large's Deputy Dawg impression*. I doubt if that will make much sense to most (non-weird) people, but that's about it. COE morphed into being wedding reception music within a few months of release, and if there's anything less edifying than watching twats at a wedding 'letting their hair down' to their favourite toons, it's probably an Al Murray pub landlord DVD.

*To continue the cartoon/'rock' impression interface, Shaggy from Scooby Doo makes an ideal Neil Young substitute.  4/10


Some wedding twats recently.


Final Summary 

Gambaccini: 0/10

Programme as a Whole: 2/10

Worst: Nothing hateful

Best: For the first time ever, I'm not choosing anything.


Saint V

Next time: August 1978

BTW: I'm doing some poetry at Gulliver's in Manchester (August 24th), and Liberty Bell in Birkenhead on the 26th.

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