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Top of the Pops

1990 on BBC Four starting October 9th

Colm Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
As once shared over on Popscene many moons ago (well, 2010):

Until early 1971: Helvetica Bold (end credits)

January 1970-at least early 1971: Stencil (chart positions in chart rundown), Futura Light (artist name in chart rundown), Helvetica Bold (end credits)

at least early 1971-at least summer 1973: Acton DB (main logo/chart positions in countdown/cast and crew names), Kabel LT Std Book (artist name in chart rundown), Futura Light (crew titles in end credits)

at least summer 1973-July 1981: City Bold and City Medium (chart rundown/cast and crew names on end credits), Gillies Gothic Extra Bold (crew titles)

August 1980-January 1984: Riley 2 caption generator default font (based on Helvetica) (performance intro/outro captions)
Chart rundown, July 1981-June 1984: RockoFLF Bold (may not be official name of font) (artist name), (unknown font) (chart position)
End credits, July 1981-February 1984: Folio Extra Bold (cast and crew names), (unknown font) (crew titles)

Performance captions, January-March 1984 and end credits, February-March 1984: DIN 17 SB
Performance captions/end credits, March 1984-October 1984: Normalise DIN

November 1984-July 1987: Clarendon, usually italic (used on chart rundown from September 1984)

July 1987-December 1988: Times New Roman (chart position on performance intro captions/chart rundown), Futura Bold Condensed (everything else)

25 Years special: Bembo

January 1989-January 1990: Univers LT Std 59 Ultra Condensed (chart position on performance captions/chart rundown), OCR-B (everything else)

Review of the 80s: Rockwell and Rockwell Extra Bold

January-April 1990: ITC Kabel Std Medium

April-December 1990: Baskerville Italic (chart position on performance captions/chart rundown), Kabel DT Condensed Bold (everything else)

December 1990-September 1991: Photina MT Italic (chart position on performance captions/chart rundown), ITC Kabel Std Medium (everything else)

October 1991-January 1995: Fritz Quadrata (artist/song title, various fonts for chart positions on performance captions)
February 1994-January 1995: Helvetica Black (chart position on performance captions/chart rundown); Futura Black ("facts" on performance captions)

February 1995-April 1998: Template Gothic Bold

May 1998-November 2003: ITC Avant Garde Black (logo), Helvetica Black (chart position on performance captions), Helvetica Bold (artist/song title on performance captions), ITC Avant Garde Bold (chart positions)

November 2003-June 2005: a custom-made font IIRC

June 2005-December 2007: Bauhaus Std Medium

December 2007: Chicago Medium (also known as Truth FB Medium)

December 2008-January 2013: Handel Gothic Bold

Comic Relief 2009 special: Gill Sans

December 2013 onwards: (unknown font)

That 1981-1984 chart rundown/end credit font (also see the c.1979-1987 ITV Schools clock) has proved incredibly elusive; the usual resources like WhatTheFont can't identify it.
buster London London
I'm guessing the line extending to the left and right of the picture from each production credit from the 1973 new end credits was binned as it was a pain to draw up/produce every week? It's quite noticeably different on the handful of earlier eps from that era that BBC4 have aired. That style is certainly gone by the time we get to the 1976 BBC4 repeats.
Dai Jestive Wales Wales Today
The Countdown Capers
15th August 1985 (Poptastic Pete & Peachy Dix)

Part 1

Part 2
We cut back to Poptastic who's joined by a young ice-cream salesman, and before our next 'turn' Pete helpfully informs us of Phil Colon's holiday arrangements.

The local park bench isn't ruled out at this point for Phil and his colon, but we're then led by the Poptastic hand to an 'everyone else is on holiday so this lot will have to do ' debut for....

40- Total Con Trick - Hickory Dickory Dock
A track which would likely get both 'thumbs aloft' from Our TuneLord as it's horology related, Total Contrast appear with the lead singer dressing up as a waiter, presumably not from the same restaurant that questioned Phil the Shill's dress sense as he'd likely end up with a punch in the dickie!

I do remember this one, despite it seeming relatively forgettable. It bounds along inoffensively enough for the next 3 & a bit minutes, but like so much on this edition it's a bit meh & not one to get thrilled about.

Probably works better with some wattage behind it on a dancefloor.

The assembled audience have a better idea of where the groove is on this one though, so at least some semblance of order is restored.

Would've also been ripe for a 'Norvelle' lollop round the stage if he'd have been present.

Mark under 'one where Herr Hurll can have 40 winks down the Poppenfuhrerbunker , by this time like much of the viewing public.

We then go for an examination from the bottom up, with Dixie's permanently etched gurn showing no sign of fatigue & a Poptastic/Peachy tag-team 40 to 11.

For the hard of remembering, Poptastic reminds the audience expecting the Top 10 now that Princess is at number 11, and a nation shouts Gerrrrrronwithit! in unison.

Alas, it has been decreed we shall have more pick 'n' mix goodies until our stomachs explode or we all get Type 2 Diabetes, so for openers on the "Top 40 Breakers"....

38- Dio - Diiiiiii-o...Daylight Come and Me Wanna Go Home

Opening a branch of a curiosity shop Mr. Benn may have visited prior to going into a changing room seems like a flawed business idea for Mr. Dio. From the looks of the establishment, the buyer needs sacking as they've bought a shedload of dust-collecting tat & the whole floorspace is in dire need of the full Kim & Aggie deep clean in order to attract customers instead of rats.

Locking up potential customers in cupboards to try to encourage them to part with their hard earned, or scaring the living crap out of them also seems a flawed way to encourage customer loyalty.

It ain't exactly John Lewis.

For this 'WTF is all this about?' video, Dio channels his inner Mystic Meg (crossed with Freddie Krueger & Richard O'Brien), while he sends the hapless "Rock & Roll Children" round a crystal maze of their worst nightmares. The terrifying prospect of the receipt of a white blouse off her parents for Christmas seems too much to bear for the girl, whilst the threat of a short back & sides for the guy makes him scamper for the nearest exit.

It's difficult to decipher if the barber threatened to give the lad an Our TuneLord 'Lego' cut but if that was the case, that would be enough to scare the crap out of anyone.


"Hey laydeez, wanna get a bit of Our Tune with Mr. March?"

33- More Balti - Gimme the Order (at 9 Tonight)
Turning up for your performance looking like Herman Munster isn't normally a good selling point (unless you're Herman Munster or Nik Kershaw), but not only did the Irish ex-paramedic who fronted the band contribute minimally (see clickety), for most appearances the Frank Farian-style svengali behind the venture made Jimmy McShane look like a possessed corpse after Baron Samedi had been at him with a touch of the Voodoo.


"Where's my Balti order?"

The video gives the viewer a right headache, full of garish colour and jerky motion but 'Gary & Stacey' arriving back from a European Summer sojourn would've royally lapped it up.

More Balti also cuts some Claypole 'shapes', but I suppose at least he didn't take any dancing lessons off them two wonky-legged guitarists from the Beat which would've made the concept ridiculous.

My favourite researched Tube-y performance is this one from German TV, for which Herr Hurll's German counterpart chucks a whole makeshift zoo on stage to ram home the jungle message, complete with staged punch-up's, a tiger with Simon Cowell's teeth and a bewildered pantomime zebra.

I kid you not.

An earworm in the style of Juan King Prawn, the Sludge Sisters ("do you re-mem-ber?") & the Joe Dolce Theatre of Hate.

Deliciously camp, and resistance is futile.

In a baffling and crunching change of gear, the breakers go straight into the Top 10 (with a brief meander to the Bush), before we're unceremoniously dumped outside the Top 10 again so Peachy can stuff up the title as "Running Aw..Up that Hill" where he collapses with laughter but at least Poptastic's there to steady the ship. Peachy gets another go moments later where his second bite at the Bush is 'textbook'.

Peachy was later put into detention by Herr Hurll and as punishment made to write out the full title of the Kate Bush track 1000 times for his misdemeanour. And quite right too.

10- Misspelt Nick - Don Corleone
If Nik Kershaw's booked into the same hotel during your holiday, it might be an idea to ask to change resort...

9- Kate Thicket - Nordic Walking (Do Us a Deal Mate!)
A mixture of ballet and wrestling with this video, with not a hill or a runner in sight. I demand a refund!

8- the DVLA - Banned from Driving
A surprisingly affecting and effective video, the song had even more gravitas on re-release following it's place within Live Aid.

7- Bone Idle - Decree Nisi
A class track & 'sneer' delight, but for your Wedding day whatever you do don't invite any of this lot.

6- the Euthymols - There Must Be a Toothpaste (Playing with my Plaque)
Ooh, I haven't heard this before!

At least not like this....

5- Diarrhoea - Money for Old Rope
Maxing out the ZX Spectrum graphics, Dire Straits go virtual reality and stratosperic.

4- Tina Gurner - No Hero or Jacket Required (Thundercats)
Easily my fave Tina Turner track & quite haunting when the choir kicks in, this cleverly edited video brings it up to date.

3- P45 with Crusty Behind - Piles Got You, Babe
Keep on plodding...

2- Ze fallen Madonna weez ze Big Boobies - Jollies!
In just over 18 Months, Madge went from making her TV debut on American Bandstand to performing in front of a bunch of creepy eccentric French people in the aggregate section of a Builder's Merchant, with an extra from Deliverance thrown into the groove. Don't stray from the paaaaaaath!

1- Ze fallen Madonna weez ze Big Boobies - Get Out of My Groove and Stay Out!
Terrific bass line aside, it's not my favourite of her's by any stretch but the film & it's original unavailability on "Like a Virgin" propelled the single into monster status. Like a lot of this particular Top 10 it's overplayed, but I wouldn't switch this one off if it came on the radio.

27- D-Train - Leaving from D-Station
For the outro Poptastic Pete loses a bet with his new found Kenyan brethren (from Bolton), and for his humiliation is forced to wear a khaki headband that's more Haribo than Rambo whilst Peachy carries on laughing his ass off.

The final act is a welcome bit of soul/funk by D-Train given a re-release with a bit of 'oomph' by Paul Sandcastle, and where would we be without the cheerleaders to entertain us?

With no 'Norvelle' this Week to lumber round the stage (another one on annual leave I'd wager), a few brave stalwarts remain including 'Blondie' and 'our Aveline' (pyrhouetting in a sparkly blue top) and with that deconstruction, unfortunately it's a disappointingly lacklustre 5.5/10 , with a point or two knocked off for the 1985 format.

For the music separated from the show, I'd give it a more generous 6.5/10 .


"I'm Goana be a Cheerleader"
Last edited by Dai Jestive on 13 April 2018 5:55pm - 18 times in total
"Greetings pop's the one that's called "Cast Your Wind to the Fates" - Alan "Fluff" Freeman
Colm Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
IIRC, that end credit line was removed after Pan's People were replaced by Ruby Flipper in May 1976.
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Yes, I'm sure it was there on the first few BBC4 editions.

Apart from the 1973 title sequence not lasting particularly long, and Whole Lotta Love vabishing between 1977 and 1980 (apart from the Christmas shows) it seems bizarre how long TOTP went with barely any update to the show's look, it pretty much lasted until the 1981 revamp. I don't think any other graphical look of TOTP lasted even half that long.
Last edited by james-2001 on 9 April 2018 5:11pm - 2 times in total
Robert Williams Founding member London London

I imagine it was a case of wanting to keep with the changing times and keep the show looking fresh, which is what it had failed to do in the 70s. The style of the show remained the same for several years from 1973, leaving it looking hopelessly outdated by the start of the 80s. Even following the 1980 revamp it took another year to update the chart graphics and theme music to something more in tune with the times.

Whilst I agree that the chart graphics and end titles should probably have been refreshed, as they were in 1981 (now what was that font called while I'm at it?) they did still keep hold of the core logo for the show and having read the article you linked to which made reference to the fact that the test of a good logo is how long it endures, I would suggest that the Bob Blagden (nice to put a name to it) logo design was far from outdated in 1986 and should have endured. Even today it is not remotely dated as a logo in association with the TOTP brand in my opinion.

The current "BBC" logo which was straightened up from italic back in 1997 endures to this day, over 20 years later now, isn't dated and I see no prospect that they are going to alter that for a very long time into the future. Great logos endure through time and circumstance. The 1973-86 Top Of The Pops logo was one of these kind.

Yes, I do agree that the 1973 logo is timeless and doesn't really relate to any particular era, borne out by the fact that it was retained in 1981, at a time when pretty much all other aspects of the show were being revamped.

It's interesting that in 2013 they went to the trouble to design a new, and not particularly good, logo, for a programme that only airs two new editions per year. I think they may as well have gone back to the 1973 logo, especially seeing as they have a large neon rendition of it as part of the studio set.
Rich Tea, rdobbie and DE88 gave kudos
VMPhil Granada North West Today
Hmm, it may be because it’s long before my time but the 70s logo looks very much like it comes from the 70s to me, and not a timeless design. In fact I’m surprised it took so long to replace it, and it would have been a bad idea to keep it for as long as the show was running.
Robert Williams Founding member London London
Hmm, it may be because it’s long before my time but the 70s logo looks very much like it comes from the 70s to me, and not a timeless design. In fact I’m surprised it took so long to replace it, and it would have been a bad idea to keep it for as long as the show was running.

I always used to regard it as very much an 80s logo, so was quite surprised to find out many years later that it had actually been around since the early 70s!
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Although for a large part of the 70s it wasn't really used. I think during the period after the 1973 titles were dropped, until it started appearing on the projection screen on the set after the 1980 mini-revamp, I think the only time it appeared was at the start of the end credits. That logo was a lot more visible in the 80s than it was in the 70s, so probably not that suprising some people see it as an 80s logo.

39 days later

Rich Tea Anglia (West) Look East
Top Of The Pops 1985 is back on BBC4 this evening after a short hiatus, so time to give the thread a renewed lease of life.

Tonight is Thursday 19th September 1985, with Simon Bates and Peter Powell.

Showing at 7.30pm as usual and the late one a bit earlier than normal at 11.20pm.
News96, TIGHazard and Dai Jestive gave kudos
Dai Jestive Wales Wales Today
Top Of The Pops 1985 is back on BBC4 this evening after a short hiatus, so time to give the thread a renewed lease of life.

Tonight is Thursday 19th September 1985, with Simon Bates and Peter Powell.

Showing at 7.30pm as usual and the late one a bit earlier than normal at 11.20pm. advance of the distinct possibility of blundering we've come to expect from the horologically-obsessed half of tonight's pairing (with a 99.9% chance of avid pop pickers getting the answer right), here's the corresponding list of runners & riders for tonight's cavalcade from "Our TuneLord & Poptastic Pete" Wink

"If you don't wish to know the result, look away now" Smile
"Greetings pop's the one that's called "Cast Your Wind to the Fates" - Alan "Fluff" Freeman
Rich Tea Anglia (West) Look East
I actually noticed a huge blunder by Mike Read on the previous edition when he mentioned that "3 years ago Midge Ure had his first solo No1 with No Regrets" as he introduced If I Was, which was infact about to become his first, and only to date, solo No1 in 1985. No Regrets had made No9 in '82. Very poor from the normally reliable Read. He also read out Colonel Abrams in the countdown as "Abrahams".

I've also noticed a lot of sarcastic intro's to songs recently. I like Janice Long but her last presentation left me thinking she was more like the insufferable Radcliffe as he attempts and fails at humour on those old TOTP2 links.

You got in quick on my tail tonight Andy on a thread that has been dormant for a whole month. I'm well impressed.

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