1981: The medley trend continued barely abated, even though Gidea Park were already reduced to Four Seasons reworks. Not sure which is more offputting, the singer's bared chest or the drummer's stetson. If Beggar & Co are anything to go by jazz-funk's development involved a lot of waving brass instruments about. The singer, as far as I can tell, never puts the clarinet reed to his lips once. It's still about as much convincing music making as Godley & Creme manage. (Unfortunately the "song with no words" that so enthralls Steve Wright isn't online in that version. It will, however, return, and later form part of TOTP history) At least Kevin Godley's playing out the sentiments, Sheena Easton seems half scared.
1987: You can tell Def Leppard weren't American, no American hard rock band would wear sterotypical American clothes. Classic metal posing on the dual guitar solo. Karel Fialka didn't bring the titular Matthew to the studio with him, but full credit to the set designer for reflecting the "sitting watching TV" lyrical location. Matthew Hayward, Fialka's stepson, is now 31, possibly works at Claridges Hotel and may well reflect on the irony that nearly everything he namechecks has been latterly remade.
1992: Very much the domestic music of 1992 on show here, including a cover. That we'll get to; first EMF invent woolly hat and shorts culture nearly two decades ahead of its time. Happy Mondays had a famously bad time of it around this time, and it shows - Shaun is distracted and has to get his lyric sheet out at one point, Bez is conspicuous by his absence and the best Rowetta can manage is bringing her stuffed monkey. Soul II Soul were operating on a downsized scale too, not even able to afford a full sized keyboard with stand. It's not until gone halfway that Jazzie B can bear to show his face. The cover jibe is a little overdone, Manic Street Preachers are hardly Undercover and they've brought their own flag. Those aren't real tattoos, by the way. The Shamen were at number one and they're already evidently a bit bored with it, hence this tranced out live version you can barely hear and the invitation of that bloke dancing in the middle. Femi Oke's very trusting in her intro, though Mr C's running with it.
1994: Not TOTP at all, but the first TOTP2, from the original form that lasted two and a half years, when Johnnie Walker did proper voiceovers between clips, Stuart Maconie wrote his script, the show started with clips from this episode, so there's a couple of gaps filled in, and the Recorded For Recall weeks were this one and this one.
1999: The tour rolls into Sheffield for a programme also notable for being the one and only TOTP hosting gig, as a late replacement, for Emma Ledden. Nobody seems to remember now but Ledden was the much hyped replacement for Zoe Ball when she and Jamie Theakston left Live & Kicking, but the show was soundly beaten by SM:TV and she and Steve Wilson were dropped after one series. She now runs a training company specialising in business presentation skills, should you be bothered. Back to Sheffield, and locals The All Seeing I had coincidentally got Phil Oakey onto their single and then for some reason done a live version different from the single, though that guitarist is building his part up in more ways than one. Safely on tape, Sixpence None The Richer's Leigh Nash can barely look at us.
2004: A good example of the problems with Andi Peters era TOTP here, as not only did they give Minnie Driver's musical career space but made her a little introductory film for no good purpose. Note that they leave Reggie's mike on a little too long at the start of that clip, and then see his idea of introducing Marilyn Manson. Yes. Flames. Very nice.