1981: Maybe it was just what we knew them better for, but Slade never seem convincing as a heavy rock act. For one thing, failing to see trends coming, Dave Hill has dressed down. For another, Noddy already looks far too old for that range of facial expressions. A large wicker basket was deposited in Depeche Mode's dressing room ten minutes before airtime and the members were invited to take their pick, evidently, Dave's bow tie and white tuxedo not matching at all with Martin's flat cap, braces and no shirt, let alone Vince's 'futuristic Hovis boy' style. At least the horn blast is convincing. Japan's David Sylvian, by contrast, keeps his hands mostly firmly buried in the pockets of his travelling salesman interview suit. No chance of that for Dave Stewart (not that one), who clearly forgot to bring the stand. Barbara Gaskin meanwhile models the amulet of destiny, careful to maintain close contact lest it break and envelop the world in evils.
1987: We get a rare glimpse at the start of the Jan Hammer clip of the hefty computer monitor all synth wizards, from Faltemeyer to Lowe, were required to have as part of their setup in the mid to late 80s. Even though the second keyboard passage is the same it shows a thick unbroken line where before was some pretence at notation. Why, it's as if it doesn't really mean anything. For accuracy Jan seems to have bought a lightpen too, not that he ever uses it. At least he's enjoying himself, as, in a more florid, fluid way, is Mick Jagger. This creative use of the entire studio, actually recorded two weeks earlier, is one of those TOTP performances that while not a classic song or a much repeated gem everyone who saw seems to remember, for good or ill. Repeated viewing reveals new details every time, from the gong Mick shimmies onstage in front of which as well as never used is miles away from the rest of the kit to the blonde gentleman seen on the right of the group shot at the end who appears to have just finished putting his all, and then some, into his mouthing along.
1992: There's something happening here, what it is is exactly clear. Suede's debut, and the blue touchpaper is lit by means of an enormous backdrop and Brett's skinny chest. Representing ambiguity of a previous age, Boy George makes coy use of the studio's spare drapes to distract from having had to dig out his hat from under a bale of hay. Mike Oldfield, who was never ambiguous in any way, is "at number four in the charts" according to Mark Franklin, just as the '1' caption appears (it had been top the previous week). Now that's an audience unsure how exactly to respond. Boyz II Men wisely keep their distance, as they have a college course to lecture straight afterwards.