Pick of the Pops 9 (20.2.88)

The Bangles - A Hazy Shade of Winter: a good live band, but cover versions are usually indicative of creative poverty, and in this case, a harbinger of the creative poverty of this week's chart. A cover version which adds nothing to the party. 3/10

Vanessa Paradis - Joe Le Taxi: as someone who championed French pop until it finally came good, I was somewhat overwhelmed when this came out. It's not great, though. Besides being in English ('le' excepted), it's nowhere near as good as the follow up 'Be My Baby'. Coincidentally, whilst this was playing, Winona Rider - Johnny 'Soil the Bed' Depp's other 'ex' - was appearing in 'Autumn in New York' on the esteemed Sony Movies channel; and I've just watched JSTB's other, other 'ex' - Pam Ferris - in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' . Spooky. 3/10

Whitesnake - Give Me All Your Love: : one of my favourite-ever Kurt Cobain interviews revealed that as time went on, he preferred feminist bands such as The Raincoats to traditional male rock bands, and though he liked Led Zeppelin, their misogynist view of sexuality became more and more unpleasant. Whitesnake are no Led Zeppelin - talent wise - and this song is as ghastly as anything that's been played on this programme this year. For 'loving' read 'shagging' and you've deciphered the grim code of David Coverdale's horrible lyrics. 0/10

Sinead O'Connor - Mandinka: ace, and easily the best song of the week. Sinead O'Connor's one-woman crusade (indeed) against the hideous practices and legacy of the Catholic Church has always endeared her to me. (Speaking as an ex-sufferer - I don't 'do' sectarianism - on any level.) 8/10

Billy Idol - Hot in the City: punk was a means of escape for young William Broad. He wanted to become a big rock star - and achieved his aim. Not much to say about this, really. 4/10

The Mission - Tower of Strength: simultaneously
ridiculous and quite good. A rare feat. 6/10

Eddy Grant - Give Me Hope, Jo'anna: hard to criticise an anti-apartheid record, but take away the laudable sentiments and this could be a football song, or - even worse - a Chas and Dave song. 5/10

T'Pau - Valentine: a great name for a band, but what a f***ing dreadful band. 0/10

Jermaine Stewart - Say It Again: an OK, if somewhat unremarkable record. 5/10

Elton John - Candle in the Wind (Live) : I once observed a lesson where a student teacher used CITW to explain metaphor and simile. It was surprisingly good, and much better than the job applicant who used The Stone Roses' 'Mersey Paradise' in his lesson.
Which was shite.
Bizarrely, the increasingly unpleasant Ian Brown turned up in the Harry Potter film before. (As did Freddie 'Parrot Face' Davies.) My favourite Elton song (not an exhaustive list, admittedly), and an extremely faithful rendition of the studio version. 7/10

Bomb the Bass - Beat Dis: great when it came out; sounding very dated now. 6/10

Billy Ocean - Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car: why didn't anybody - at any stage of this song's conception, rehearsal and performance - tell Billy how creepy this song title sounds? Imperatives in song titles never sounded worse. (Wayne County's legendary 'F.O.' song actually sounds more civilised in retrospect.) 0/10

Taylor Dane - Tell It To My Heart: the chorus of this song could easily be 'Chas and Dave'd' with the addition of a few rudimentary 'Oy!'s tossed in. Rubbish, obviously, but almost one of the better songs this week (in light of the company, that is). 4/10

Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now: another cover version. Crap. What a dismal chart. 1/10

Worst song: Billy Ocean (sorry, Billy); Whitesnake
Best: Sinead (click on the pic to hear the song) 
Programme as a whole: f***ing dreadful 1/10

And remember, kids - it's only pop music...