Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Alternative TOTP Canon #41: Mick Jagger - Let's Work

Hadn't expected to see this again, had you? Well, while we've got some time and to mark the imminence of post number 200 I thought it'd be good to resurrect this to highlight some of the lesser seen performances that have cropped up in researching the under-read On This Top Of The Pops Day as that blog staggers towards its inevitable conclusion. This week's bunch of five inductees starts with a song which peaked at 33, wasn't even in the top 40 when featured - in fact the show had already been hanging onto this performance for a fortnight before giving in - but everyone who saw seems to remember. One thing you can't accuse him of is not putting some gumption into it, using the entire studio as a personal bouncy castle of a plaything. One thing you can accuse him of is a lack of subtlety, whether that be in the Tebbitrock lyrics or the two gangs of seemingly barely choreographed groups. There's a BBC Stones season coming very soon including an At The BBC. We should get a petition together to ensure this is included.


Tunip said...

Good greif that's a horrible song! It sounds like it should be played over the closing credits of a sub par eighties missmatched buddy comedy. In fact as it starts to go into the second chorus I can almost see "location catering by" drifting down the screen.

James said...

My word I'm so glad you've uncovered a proper version of that. Until now the only YouTube copy of it was one which was lacking audio.

The Let's Work performance came from a brief golden run of TOTP shows where selected acts were given free reign to either perform live or bring their songs to life in spectacular performances - letting Jagger take over the entire studio was just the half of it.

One day the rest will appear - Alexander O'Neal doing Criticize live, chasing the female singer up and down the gantry, LL Cool J similarly freestyling live on I Need Love, and best of all Steve Walsh doing I Found Lovin' with a live mic and turning the entire studio into one of his gigs - the whole purpose of his record in the first place.

All came to a crashing halt when the US version of the show launched and time was then taken up with re-airing some ropey NTSC conversions of equally ropey stateside appearances.

Simon said...

Yes, someone told me about that Steve Walsh performance but it's not on YouTube - consider this a public appeal to anyone who does have it to upload it (8th October 1987, it says here), as if there's another Sky At Night break in December (well, we all know there will be, but they might stick a TOTP on another day that week or something) I'll do another set of Canon inductees. The other two you mention are up.

Bamaboogiewoogie said...

I remember this show very well and mentioned it a few weeks ago. I was quite impressed at the time but now it all looks rather naff.

I hate those precocious stage school kids all desperately trying to be noticed.

Jagger's dressed like he's halfway through rehearsing as a pirate in a pantomime and I hate the way his scrawny arse wiggles on stage before he does as though it's more famous than he is.

"Let's work, kill poverty" rather hard to take from a millionaire. It's hilarious that they must have spent ages rehearsing and filming this and it stalled at number 33. A case of less is more.

The other taking over the studio performance I remember is FGTH's 27th week at number one with Two Tribes when Holly Johnson left the confines of the stage to walk though the audience as if he owned the place.

James said...

The podium full of stage school kids is a "before they were famous" moment waiting to happen. I mean surely by the law of averages one of them must have gone on to be somebody.

(or at the very least fondled by J**** S*****)

Tanya Jones said...

It's a awful song, but that's a brilliant performance, and reminds you of why Jagger's so successful.

James Evans said...

I too remember this well. I think it was the first time TOTP had strayed outside the top 40 boundaries and they were obviously uber confident the track would chart a lot earlier than it did.

I remember too eagerly seeing how much it had climbed the following week... woah, eight places, Mick. Progressive.

There was a TOTP v The Roxy 'what's the best chart show on telly' poll a year or so later in, I think, Smash Hits. TOTP finished 7pts ahead (as it should have, as The Roxy was dreadful) but got docked 10pts by virtue of 'cheating' by using Mick's no.41 track. Hilarious.

Of course it had nothing to do with Smash Hits being a commercial title and The Roxy being screened on ITV, a commercial channel.

No... nothing at all. *cough*

James Evans said...

BTW that aforementioned Steve Walsh TOTP vid is now on YouTube. A sadly missed guy.