1979: All sorts from all over the place this week, not least the TOTP debut of The Specials (actually still the Special AKA, but if Peter Powell can get it wrong...) All sorts of energy and restless movement feeding off the stage, so obviously the director spends most of the song on single tight focus on Terry Hall. How out of place they must have seemed alongside the inexplicable likes of BA Robertson and his disturbing air guitar take at the end. The Korgis were never destined for cutting edge pop either, not with the singer's choice of tie, far more middle-manager than new wave. See, The Gibson Brothers' purple Quality Street wrapper jumpsuits could only mean they were one type of band. After Den Hegarty jumped ship Darts were never quite the same again, with only Rita Ray's increasingly tight outfits providing entertainment above and beyond. Sparks obviously had that element in place from the start. Wisely, Legs & Co retreated to their summer beach house for Earth Wind & Fire moping.
1984: Black Lace. It had to happen sooner or later, though as yet there's nobody on the stage with them to help out with the moves. Similarly Mike Score of A Flock Of Seagulls had yet to quite work out his famous hairdo, though that one may have inspired Jon Bon Jovi. Trevor Walters - crazy name, crazy guy - goes for bomber jacket/string vest mixing.
1996: Hosted by Babylon Zoo's Jas Mann. Look, there he is, before Alisha's Attic. She never gets to use that recorder she's brandishing for the last minute. Manic Street Preachers' Nicky Wire isn't really committed to that bass part. The Spice Girls finally made it into the studio, and watch Mel C at the start, shorn of much else to do, directing vocal traffic.
2002: Easy to forget how big a deal S Club Juniors were, even if their dance routines stretched to no more complexity than jackets over the shoulder. Young people either went for that or, as Vanessa Carlton proved, were transfixed by the sight of a piano. As Shakira should have known, there was no more worrying sight then a pop star 'going serious' with an acoustic guitar player and a bongoist.