Sunday, August 23, 2009
I go along completely with the theory that the best period of Top of the Pops happens to be exactly at the time that you started to watch it. In my case, this meant 1979 or 80 or so. And to be fair, it was a good time for the show: Blondie, Kate Bush, Two Tone, Iron Maiden playing live, and a bunch of New Wave weirdos that you simply can't imagine getting on the TV any more (Lene Lovich, Flying Lizards etc etc). And every now and again you got groups performing who had no right to be there at all, as in when Girl appeared playing Hollywood Tease.
Lord knows how they got on. A last minute cancellation of some other act, surely. Perhaps the singer in Darts had a stomach bug or Liquid Gold's tour bus got stuck in traffic just outside of Peterborough. Whatever the reason, they gave a fantastic performance (my memory has singer Philip Lewis performing standing behind the drummer, but it's been a long time) and I went out and bought the single. Unfortunately, not too many other folk did, and the Polyhex archives has it peaking at No. 50, and spending a mighty 3 weeks in the Top 75.
Despite being signed to a major (Jet), Girl never managed to break through. One reason was bad timing: while other NWOBHM acts were strapping on bullet belts and biker jackets, they looked like a cross between Alice Cooper and Aerosmith. In 5 years time, about every Metal band bothering the charts and going platinum would look like a cross between Alice Cooper and Aerosmith. But not in 1980. Even Alice Cooper didn't look like Alice Cooper in 1980. The other reason may be, that, well, though they had great singles like Hollywood Tease and the even better My Number, their album Sheer Greed wasn't great.
I couldn't find the TOTP appearance on YouTube, but the promo video was there and is below.