It's not just a weekly music show, it's part of the fabric of our lives: the one constant in the ever- changing worlds Of pop and TV. As
TOP OF THE POPS comes to Glasgow, we trawl the archives of our collective unconscious to count down the ten best performances in its illustrious history. Words: Rob Fraser
See you Jimmy
10. Sebadoh: 'Flame’ January 1999
‘You can feel anythrng yOu wanna feel, and call at real.’ The fact that LOu Barlow’s perennial rndre underachrevers took therr TOTP bow was notable encugh, and the frontman's sullen screamrng frnale added consrderably to the sense of occasron. But what really made thrs eprsode specral was the rest of the lrne up. The O-‘fsprrhg, Terrorvrsron and Gay Dad, whatever therr 'ndrwdtlal merrts, combrned to make thrs a Brzarro World edrtron of the UK's favourrte musrc show.
9. Boomtown Rats: 'Rat Trap'
'And yOu been CAUGHT!’ ’Summer Nrghts' had been Number One for seven weeks when Geldof's Irrsh upstarts usurped rt A pre-Lrve Ard/medra tycoon/tabIOrd hell marrrage Bob celebrated the achrevernent by rrpprng up a photograph of John Travolta. Very punk rock.
8. New Order: 'Fine Time' December 1988 Y’know I've met a lot of cool chrcks .' The frnest technology avarlable to knob-tWrddlers drstorted and deepened Barney's v0rce on record, but lrve he srmply growled Out the lyrrcs, later clarmrng he was the whrte Barry Whrte And as for the br7arre shapes he threw, the rnsprratron for those came from hangrng out at the Hacrenda wrth the dancer from an obsCure Manchester band
7. Happy Mondays/Stone Roses:
'Madchester Rave On'l'Fools Gold' November 1989
'Don't need you to tell me what’s gom' down .
Hard to rmagrne srnce the Brrtpop boom brought every bunch of chancers wrth a gurtar rnto your lrvrng room, but havrng two great bands appear on the same edrtron of TOTP was a truly momentOus event Ian Brown never looked cooler, and The Mondays were Gaultrered up for the occasron, wrth Bez rn shorts and a Breton top Even havrng Krrsty Macoll srng backrng vocals on 'Hallelulah' couldn’t sporl rt
6. Dexy's Midnight Runners: 'Jackie
Wilson Said' October 1982
‘I'm rn heaven, when you smrle .' ’Come On Erleen' was always gOrng to be a t0ugh act to follow, and Kevrn Rowland’s mob underachreved wrth thrs cover of Van Morrrson's musrcal fan letter, The srngle’s cause wasn’t helped by the rnept set desrgner who, charged y‘xrtl‘. supplyrng a photo of the s0ul legend as a backdrop to the band's performance, rnstead provrded a grant blow up of toothless Scottrsh darts champ Jocky Wilson
18 THE usr r3—27 may r999
5. Wham! 'Young Guns' October 1982
'No tears, no fears, all I want to be. .' Cometh the hour, cometh the man Thrs was the moment when George Mrchael embraced hrs destiny. Eschewrng the normal standrng on a stage practrce, Wham danced on the studro floor, rn among the punters. It was a performance of rmmeasurable self-conﬁdence and charrsma, and rn that moment, a star was born.
4. Madonna: 'Like A Virgin' November 1984 ‘You made me feel shrny and new. . .' 'Just take a look at thrs,’ sard moustachroed Steve Wrrght, by way of rntroducrng Madonna's rnternatronal breakthrough smash. On she bounded rn a hrdeous prnk frrght wrg and leather Jacket, and commenced to frug energetrcally for the song's duratron. Every step she’s taken Srnce has been expertly choreographed, but thrs was a performance fuelled by raw talent and burnrng ambrtron
3. The Smiths: ‘William It Was Really
Nothing’ September 1984
'Everybody’s got to lrve therr lrfe . .’ Into a w0rld domrnated by Srrnon Le Bon and George Mrchael, came Morrrssey. As Johnny Marr worked hrs chkenbacker rnagrc, the M02 swrrled a bunch of daffodrls arOund hrs mrghty qurff. Natronal Health specs, a hearrng ard and a wardrobe by Oxfam cemented hrs posrtron as the decade's most unlrkely rcon, and when he rrpped open hrs shrrt to reveal the words marry me' the natron’s unloved y0uth begged for the prrvrlege.
2. Shane MacGowan & The Popes: 'That
Woman’s Got Me Drinking' October 1994 'Look at the state l'rn rn .' Seerng the former Pogue upright and strll drawmg breath was remarkable enough The fact that he had Hollywood heartthrob and corrcptor of the world's most beautrful women, Johnny Depp, thrashrng away besrde hrm on rhythm gurtar made for the strangest srght rn the show's hrstory
1. Nirvana: 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' December 1991
’Load up on drugs and krll your frrends . .' These were not the orrgrnal openrng lrnes, but Kurt had a cold and drdn’t want to srng lrve The Beeb dug rts desperate for street cred no mrmrng heels rn Result? Cobarn growled the song rn slowed-down, ultra-deep, scary death metal fashron and rrnprovrsed the nrhrlrstrc lyrrcs. Compared to thrs, Marrlyn Manson rs a pussy.
Top Of The Pops will be recorded in Archaos on Thu 27 May, 8pm and broadcast on BBC 1 on Fri 28 May, 7.30pm. Watch TOTP for details on how to get tickets.
BBC MUSIC LIVE LISTINGS: Wed 26 contrhued
I Paragon Ensemble Scotland Foyer. Royal Concert Hall. (1pm. Free. A concert by one of Scotland's leading contemporary and chamber music ensembles.
I In Tune Princes Square. 5pm. Free. Art accessible mix of classical music and chat with Radio 3's Sean Rafferty.
I Pipeline The Piping Centre. 353 0220. 8pm. Free. lain Maclnnes hosts an evening giving exposure to the younger generation of Scottish pipers.
I Iain Anderson Festival Studio. Argyle Street. 2.30pm. Free. Award winning chat and a choice selection of celtic and classical music with live appearances and performances.
I BBC Radio 2 Roadshow. Buchanan Street. 2pm. Free. Presenters from Radio 2 introduce a host of pop music and surprise live guests every day up to and including Sun 30 May.
I Radio 3 Classics Princes Square. lpm. l‘ree. Preformers from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama indulge the public with informal recitals of well loved classics.
I Top Of The Pops Archaos. Queen Street. 8pm. An historic event as 'l'()'l'l’ is recorded in Scotland for the first timeln actual fact. only half of the show will be made in (ilasgow. the other half coming from London as trsual. (iail Porter will introduce three bands in Glasgow. while Jamie 'l‘heakston handles things in the Smoke. Keep watching 'I'()'I'l’ for details on how to get tickets. See panel. left.
I Deacon Blue (ilasgow Royal Concert Hall. 287 55l 1. 7.30pm. S()l..l) ()l'T. Ricky. Lorraine et al return for a charity gig. lixpect heartfelt renditions of ‘l)ignity‘ and the rest as the former Scotpop hit machine take us back to the heady days of HRS.
I Travis and Oslo The (iaragc. 332
l 12(). 7.30pm. S()l.l) ()l'l. 'I‘ravis‘ are lager louts with library cards combining oalish power with well-read sensitivity. They'll be playing material from their Radiohead-tinged new album The .llrm ll'lm. See feature. iage l().
I Stereolab, Ad N to (X), T009 and Momus (‘ouier- Theatre. 357 3868. 7.30pm. SOLD Oil. For those who like their pop music coming otrt of left-field and played on old Moogs. this is the best gig at BBC Music Live. Add .\' To (X) make technology sexy on new album Avant (iarde. while Stereolab cart always be relied upon for a show that makes keyboard bleeps and guitar drones sound awesome. See preview. page 13.
I Jazz Notes Strathclyde Suite. Royal ('oncert Hall. 287 SSl l. 7.45pm. £10. Tommy Smith and the Scottish National Jan ()rchestra celebrate the life and work of big band genius [)uke lillington by performing a number of his most popular works.
I Paul Jones Blues Concert featuring Geoff Muldaur Renfrew l‘erry. 42‘) 8676. 8pm. £6. A leading light of the ['K folk and blues scene of the l‘)(r()s. (ieof'f Muldaur teams tip with Paul Jones and the Big Town Playboys. the country‘s leading R&B outfit fora night of the best in rhythm and blues.
I llesperion XX The Piping Centre. 353 0220. 7.30pm. £10. A rare visit to the L'K from Spaniards llesperion XX.
_ For information on all BBC
Music Live events call 0845 309 9899. The ticket hotline is 0141 287 5000.