Author Topic: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.  (Read 95988 times)

daf

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2018, 08:54:18 PM »
17 April 1986: Presenter: Gary Davies

(10) BIG COUNTRY – Look Away
In a Big Coat
(3) FALCO – Rock Me Amadeus (video / chart)
Garydavies-Garydavies, Ga-a-ary Davies,
Garydavies-Garydavies, Ga-a-ary Davies,
Garydavies-Garydavies, Ga-a-ary Davies,
Gary Davies . . .
Talk Over Me Gary Davies

(8) A-HA – Train Of Thought
Random Skateboard : Keyboard Slide
- - - - - - - - - - - - (breakers) - - - - - - - - - - - -
(27) SUZANNE VEGA – Marlene On The Wall
(26) GRANGE HILL CAST – Just Say No
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



(16) JANET JACKSON – What Have You Done For Me Lately? (video)
She Looks Like Him (for half an hour in 1986)
(28) IT’S IMMATERIAL – Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune)
It's Great Up North
(1) GEORGE MICHAEL – A Different Corner
Guilty Architect got no set square
(33) WHITNEY HOUSTON – The Greatest Love Of All (video / audience dancing / credits)
Just Say No!

buzby

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2018, 02:34:23 PM »
17 April 1986: Presenter: Gary Davies

(10) BIG COUNTRY – Look Away
In a Big Coat
You aren't kidding - Adamson is approaching General Bomb The Bastards in shoulderpad acreage there. At least this song doesn't have a horrible twee 'bagpipe' guitar solo.
Quote
(27) SUZANNE VEGA – Marlene On The Wall
A great song - my sister picked up on Suzanne Vega pretty early so I had access to her debut album. This  was originally her debut single , but it only reached #85 on it's first release in November 1985. The next two singles never cracked the Top 40 either (Small Blue Thing reached #65 in January 1986 and Knight Moves didn't chart), so this was a hit outside of the normal album cycle - I smell the cold, dead hand of a Radiio 1 DJ picking it up, but I've not been able to find out the full story. The song was written about a photo of Dietrich which Vega had been given and had framed on her bedroom wall, and how she observed  the events in Vega's life

The video is great too - she's cute as a button in it (though does wear a jacket with almost Adamson-level shoulder pads).
Quote
(16) JANET JACKSON – What Have You Done For Me Lately? (video)
Another Jam & Lewis banger (they were on fire in this era). with lyrics co-written by Jackson (about her recent divorce from James DeBarge) and was recorded and produced at J&L's Flyte Tyme Studios in Minneapolis (it's got that wonderfully sparse Prince-style sound, with the bassline doing all the heavy lifting). The video was choreographed by Paula Abdul (who is also one of the dancers, wearing ta long white shirt and black belt). She was a friend of Janet, and Janet moved in with her for a few weeks prior to the single's release for an intensive combined dance and excercise regime (the label had told her she needed to lose weight to promote the album - what a bunch of shitehawks).
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(28) IT’S IMMATERIAL – Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune)
I
I love this song, an audio road movie about driving away from Liverpool (the vocalist John Cambpell was from Manchester, which he references in the lyrics). They had been staples of John Peel's show snce the early 80s, but by this time the band had bee reduced to a duo and had just been signed by Virgin offshoot Siren, for whom they recorded their debut album Life's Hard And Then You Die.

The first single from this album, Ed's Funky Diner, was released at the end of 1985 but didn't chart. At the same time, the band were dispatched off to Milwaukee to record 'Driving' with Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison producing (their label wanted David Byrne, but he was busy with Eno at the time). He envisaged the track as a more traditional Country & Western sound, and had hired in a Nashville session crew to record it. The band weren't very happy with this direction, and ended up working on their own multitrack at night after Harrison had gone home, keeping only Harrison's keyboard parts.

One evening Harrison took them to a bar, and the local band playing noticed that Jim Lieber was in the audience and asked him up to play harmonica with them. Harrison and the band realised that would be a great addition to their track, and asked him to come back to the studio and record some harmonica lines on his way to the airport to fly back to Nashville. The band were so impressed with his contributions they subtitled the track as 'Jim's Tune'.

After the session, the band took the two multitracks back to the UK and started mixing their own version and Siren enlisted Tears for Fears' engineer Dave Bascombe to assist them. When he heard about it, Harrison asked for his name to be taken off the track. When it was released, it got picked up by the Radio 1 playlist ans was shaping up to be a big hit (It was getting more plays than A Different Corner at the time) but Virgin took their eye off the ball and shifted the marketing team to one of their other acts, and committed the cardinal sin of not pressing enough copies, leading to it stalling at #14.

Siren re-released Ed's Funky Diner a couple of months later but it only reached #65, followed by the album in September. After a year of promotional work and touring overseas, the band started on their second album in 1988, which was finally released in 1990 to critical acclaim but commercial indifference, and the band were dropped.
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(1) GEORGE MICHAEL – A Different Corner
Hurll doing a 'Nik Kershaw' on George here, cutting to the promo video to liven up a boring studio performance.  Listening to this, it strangely reminded me of Jon & Vangelis' I Hear You Now. I think it's the muted plucked lead synth sound that's doing it (though it presumably came from a DX7 in George's case, rather than a CS80)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 05:48:29 PM by buzby »

kidsick5000

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2018, 04:21:38 PM »
THe DRIVING AWAY FROM HOME STORY

Amazing. Thanks for that. Had been under the impression all this time that it was just two blokes' bedroom set-up.

non capisco

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2018, 06:19:38 PM »
I look forward to buzby's posts as much as the episodes themselves.

'What Have You Done For Me Lately?' is indeed a stormer. If memory serves she has 'When I Think Of You' coming out soon after, another total dazzler.

1986 so far has been much better than boring old 1985. More interesting one-offs like the It's Immaterial record for a start. Although I'm already missing Cliff and The Young Ones, Rik's last obnoxiously off-key 'oooh-hoooh!' slayed me every time.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 06:29:48 PM by non capisco »

buzby

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2018, 06:26:49 PM »
Amazing. Thanks for that. Had been under the impression all this time that it was just two blokes' bedroom set-up.
Yes, it's got quite a story behind it. The backing singer/keyboard player on TOTP was Merran Laginestra, an Australian singer/songwriter who was also signed to Siren. The band and Bascombe wanted to add some female backing vocals, and as they were working on a tight timescale and low budget (the budget had already been spent with Harrison in Milwaukee) their A&R man asked one of his other artists to help out. you can hear more of her vocals on the extended 12" Wicked Weather For Walking version, and also features different lyrics (it was also a big tune in the early Balearic club scene)

There was also a rather odd remix on the US 12" release called the Dead Man's Curve version, which eschews most of the original lyrics in favour of references to other famous 'Road' songs and books:

Dr Rock

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2018, 06:41:48 PM »
This time is very evocative for me, 1986 was a year of big change for me - at this point I'm emerging as a baby goth but still hanging around with a couple of mates I was increasingly finding wrong for me, some racist jokes and that. And I was still a virgin, I'd had a brief long distance relationship the year before that got to fingering but that doesn't count does it. Soon I would get myself a cool Daniel Ash hairstyle, discover foundation and eyeliner/eyeshadow and find a much better gang of baby goth/baby punks, and I think it was June/July when my parents went to France for a week and I had a party while they was away, wrecked the house with people puking everywhere and falling through the garage roof, and doing it with my new, first proper girlfriend. By the end of the year I has caused enough trouble for my poor parents that I was ejected and kipping on my friends floors, finally getting a crummy bedsit around new year.

I've been struggling to place the TOTPs week that would coincide with the big event, the only song I can recall being in the charts is Stan Ridgeway's Camouflage. But I'm getting ahead of myself, at this point I'm enjoying the Janet Jackson, Suzanne Vega (forever linked with playing a particular fruit machine in the arcade for too long, they had a few songs on a loop, I know all the words off by heart), and Different Corner. Driving Away From Home is the closest thing to an 'alternative' record I suppose, but this is a strong episode. Yay for 1986.

Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2018, 12:27:02 AM »
Keeping those old SCSI disks going these days will be a job in itself.
I think this depends on how well the Synclavier adheres to true SCSI; if it did it 'properly' you might find scsi to flash adapters could do the job rather than trying to maintain 30 year old hard drives.

Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2018, 09:42:12 PM »
Could probably just attribute it to the rapid advances in music technology and samples.

I don't understand why it's dated, it sounds of its time, sure, but what does dated mean?

Tidbit from Hardcastle on the Story show was that it was the first track ever recorded and mixed on disk, with no tape involved (Synclavier)

I think that's why I remember it sounding dated as early as 1989 or so. Not so much due to technological advances (which were still advancing) but cultural changes- digital gear like the DX7 and Roland D-50 had been seen as THE FUTURE for a good few years by this point but suddenly the 'cool' sounds of the time were from old Roland TB-303s, TR-909s and other (then) cheaply available analogue gear that had been regarded as obsolete only a couple of years earlier. As Buzby detailed, the sheer cost of even the most basic Synclavier system was beyond the wildest dreams of most musicians so naturally that would create a backlash eventually.

Paul Hardcastle seems to have briefly benefitted from this odd 1986-ish period of flux. He's practically the BBC's golden boy here, being invited to compose themes for various programmes and being openly gushed about on TOTP, Tomorrow's World etc. Some guilt kicking in over the treatment of Delia Derbyshire 20 years earlier maybe?

Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2018, 10:54:35 PM »
After a year of promotional work and touring overseas, the band started on their second album in 1988, which was finally released in 1990 to critical acclaim but commercial indifference, and the band were dropped.
The second album ("Song") is great, but I think I read the Blue Nile reckon they stole loads of ideas from them. It certainly fits in well alongside "Hats" - wasn't it recorded in the same place and also with Callum Malcom?

buzby

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2018, 11:24:27 PM »
I think this depends on how well the Synclavier adheres to true SCSI; if it did it 'properly' you might find scsi to flash adapters could do the job rather than trying to maintain 30 year old hard drives.
Synhouse (who are the main Synclavier repair/service company) are still remanufacturing the 320Mb SCSI disks to support Synclavier systems (and MFM Winchester drives for older Synclavier I systems), which suggests the SCSI-to-Flash and SCSI-to-SATA adapters aren't particularly satisfactory for thier application. I found issues using them with contemporary hardware, as System X uses similar full-size SCSI Winchester disks for offline software and billing storage, later 50-pin 3.5" Seagate SCSI drives for voice announcement sample storage and 80-pin SCA drives for offline software storage on another bit of the processing system. made in the mid-90s.

We use 3 different manufacturer's solutions - a CF-to-SCSI adapter to replace the Winchester drives and 2 different  SATA to SCSI adapters (fitted with 8GB SATA SSDs) to replace the 50-pin SCSI (on a system that runs VxWorks OS and the then-common NCR SCSI HBA chipset) and SCA drives. Only one of the adapters (the 80-pin SCA one) worked straight out of the box (on a system running LynxOS with a mid-90s Adaptec SCSI II HBA chipset).

The CF-to-SCSI solution needed custom firmware developing for it by the manufacturer get it to function the same way as the old Micropolis/Winchester disks (that bit of the system uses a very early SCSI implementation with direct raw block access rather than a higher-level disk format).

The SATA-to-SCSI adapters used to replace the SCSI I 50-pin Seagate drives (which are the same products that are rebranded and sold for use with Akai and other samplers) also needed fixes to their on-board firmware before they became usable (I had to source an old Ancot SCSI Analyser to supply log files to the Taiwanese manufacturer showing where their product wasn't conforming to the SCSI protocol specs).

We tried the same Taiwanese manufacturer's SCA solution for the SCSI II system but they hadn't implemented the hardware interface correctly (in particular how bus termination was handled) that meant their drives randomly failed to iniitialise correctly on power-up. Not a problem if you are there to turn it off and on again until it boots up properly, but in our application if the power goes off there's usually nobody there when it comes back on. In typical far eastern fashion they refused to acknowledge the problem (even after I'd supplied pictures of one of their PCBs I'd modded to work correctly), I presume due to 'losing face', so we ended up having to go to the only other supplier of SCA flash solutions. Their product is beautifully made and ultra-reliable (housed in a sealed, vibration-isolated CNC-milled-from-solid alloy case, as I suspect they are primarily made for the US military) and they work perfectly, but eye-wateringly expensive (they cost over 4 times the price of the Taiwanese units).

TL:DR - most of the Flash-to-SCSI/SATA-to-SCSI products currently available don't conform to the SCSI specs properly themselves, and it's only poor implementation of the SCSI protocol stack in systems they are used in that allows them to 'work'.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 12:26:20 AM by buzby »

buzby

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2018, 11:58:42 PM »
The second album ("Song") is great, but I think I read the Blue Nile reckon they stole loads of ideas from them. It certainly fits in well alongside "Hats" - wasn't it recorded in the same place and also with Callum Malcom?
Yes, Song was recorded in Castlesound with Callum Malcolm around the same time as he was producing the Blue Nile's Hats, but both bands weren't there at the same time though. After spending 1985 to early 87 pretty much in residence there but with little to show for it, the Blue Nile were forced to vacate the studio to make way for their Virgin label-mates It's Immaterial, and only returned to Castlesound in 1988 with some demos they had recorded back home in Glasgow after It's Immaterial had overrun their session, spending almost a year there .

I think it may have been more that spending long periods in Castlesound's environment influenced  both bands sound in a similar way as well potential for Malcolm to possibly be moulding both bands to the sound he was interested in at the time - in this interview from 1990 It's Immaterial admit that the album was pretty much written in the studio rather than any complete songs being prepared beforehand.

Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2018, 12:30:01 PM »
Great link, thanks. I think I based my earlier comment on Paul Buchanan commenting that "I don't remember much about their record (Song), other than the fact that the song titles sounded like anagrams of ours". Probably just him being a bit bitchy.

According to It's Immaterial's Facebook, a new album is forthcoming, but delayed due to John Campbell having had a brush with the old cancer.

daf

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #42 on: September 21, 2018, 08:53:47 PM »
24 April 1986: Presenters: Janice Long & Dixie Peach (The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down / Peach m-Elbow Special!)

(17) THE SOS BAND – The Finest
Smooth Our Souls
(5) GRANGE HILL CAST – Just Say No  (video)
Wot! No Scruffy McGuffey?
(8) FIVE STAR – Can’t Wait Another Minute
All their own choreographumghphh


https://www.flickr.com/photos/51106326@N00/sets/72157660540741224/

- - - - - - - - - - - - (breakers) - - - - - - - - - - - -
(26) PRINCESS – I’ll Keep On Loving You
(23) LEVEL 42 – Lessons In Love
(10) MADONNA – Live To Tell
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(20) AURRA – You & Me Tonight
Kinky Legs  (. . . and her's aren't bad either!!)
(1) GEORGE MICHAEL – A Different Corner (video)
Light dusting of Bisto gracing the upper slopes
(3) QUEEN – A Kind Of Magic (video / audience dancing / credits)
SEQ - 8 sc-36 / 37'
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 09:05:37 PM by daf »

Bobby Treetops

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #43 on: September 22, 2018, 11:23:55 AM »
Hear 'N Aid didn't turn out to a charity single for the hard of hearing after all, but a load of poddle haired rockers jumping on the charidee mate, bandwagon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwbL5PVwSHg

Quote
The song was recorded on May 20 and 21, 1985 at the A&M Records Studio in Hollywood, California. The project included contributions from Ted Nugent, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tommy Aldridge and members of Dio, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, Queensrÿche, Blue Öyster Cult, Vanilla Fudge, Y&T, Rough Cutt, Giuffria, Journey, W.A.S.P. and Night Ranger as well as the parody band Spinal Tap. Lead vocals were shared between Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Kevin DuBrow, Eric Bloom, Geoff Tate, Dave Meniketti, Don Dokken and Paul Shortino. Vivian Campbell, Carlos Cavazo, Buck Dharma, Brad Gillis, Craig Goldy, George Lynch, Yngwie Malmsteen, Eddie Ojeda, and Neal Schon all added guitar solos. Iron Maiden's Dave Murray and Adrian Smith were in the middle of their 'World Slavery Tour' at the time and flew in to attend the main session. A documentary was shot of the recording process and released simultaneously.


non capisco

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #44 on: September 22, 2018, 05:03:44 PM »
I like that Aurra tune. 1986 has had way more 'songs I've never heard before that are alright' action than I was expecting.

Poor old Dixie Peach never quite got the hang of the old Top Of The Pops presenting lark, did he? He always looked somewhere on a scale of mildly nervous to completely panic stricken. Still more competent than Pat Sharp's brief spell on the programme, where when he wasn't talking he went into some kind of glazed shutdown mode.

Vodka Margarine

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #45 on: September 22, 2018, 10:11:38 PM »
Always had a soft spot for Live To Tell. It's a Champions League Madge effort. Not 'Like A Prayer' but not 'Love Profusion' either. Everyone's seventh favourite Madonna song.

Better Midlands

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2018, 01:55:30 PM »
Always had a soft spot for Live To Tell. It's a Champions League Madge effort. Not 'Like A Prayer' but not 'Love Profusion' either. Everyone's seventh favourite Madonna song.

It's her best slow song for sure.

Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #47 on: September 23, 2018, 02:49:57 PM »
'Live To Tell' is great. Always thought it's a bit prog, with its Vangelis-like synth flourishes. The structure too- when the middle 8 kicks in it sounds more like a 'movement' than a typical middle 8.

Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2018, 03:28:19 PM »
Not a Madge fan, but LTT is definitely one of her least bad songs.

Jockice

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #49 on: September 23, 2018, 04:09:59 PM »
It's her best slow song for sure.

After Crazy For You.

Dr Rock

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #50 on: September 23, 2018, 04:50:41 PM »
Yup, Crazy For You, then Live To Tell. Both far ahead of any of her other slow songs.

Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #51 on: September 23, 2018, 04:58:23 PM »
I think The Look Of Love is one of her great underrated ballads.

Norton Canes

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #52 on: September 23, 2018, 05:41:26 PM »
Live To Tell over Crazy For You by a whisker. This Used To Be My Playground not too shoddy either.

Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #53 on: September 24, 2018, 10:45:08 AM »
Live To Tell over Crazy For You by a whisker. This Used To Be My Playground not too shoddy either.

I'm v.v. on that (by a whisker) simply because I danced with Tracy Anderson to CFY.

Madonna has made some really REALLY great pop songs.  For me Material Girl is perfection.  Three and a half minutes of exactly what you want from a pop song.  She's made some good songs, PDP, LaP - in fact I'm punting LaP up to 'great' - she's done loads.

But she hasn't half made some real shite too.

Would Hanky Panky, Vogue or Dear Jessie have made it on to vinyl if it wasn't for the fact it was being sung by 'the' Material Girl?

Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #54 on: September 24, 2018, 01:20:09 PM »

But she hasn't half made some real shite too.


I imagine she'll get the Bowie-esque airbrushing when she dies, the Hanky Pankies and American Lifes will be binned alongside the Glass Spiders and Tin Machines and it'll be Like A Prayers and Rays Of Light all the way.

Disagree about Vogue though, that's a belter.

daf

  • Laminated with 'Clarifoil'
Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #55 on: September 24, 2018, 01:32:29 PM »
Rays Of Light

The Orbit era is my favourite - particularly Beautiful Stranger.

(Oddly, despite getting to number 2 in the fabulous Hit Parade, I don't think Ray of Light ever had a single showing on TOTP!)

Better Midlands

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #56 on: September 24, 2018, 01:36:49 PM »
I imagine she'll get the Bowie-esque airbrushing when she dies, the Hanky Pankies and American Lifes will be binned alongside the Glass Spiders and Tin Machines and it'll be Like A Prayers and Rays Of Light all the way.

Disagree about Vogue though, that's a belter.

Yeah, Vogue is fantastic.

Last great Madonna single = Music?

Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #57 on: September 24, 2018, 01:47:10 PM »
Reckon it will be classed by most as "shite" but I like La Isla Bonita a lot.


Norton Canes

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #58 on: September 24, 2018, 02:27:23 PM »
Actually just looking at her discog, The Power Of Good-Bye is a decent ballad too. Beautiful Stranger was also OK. Really, the millennium was the cut-off point for good Madonna songs. her first song of the 2000s was American Pie.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 03:22:08 PM by Norton Canes »

canadagoose

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Re: Topic: Top of the Pops on BBC Four - Thread Two.
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2018, 03:14:49 PM »
I'm heartened by the appreciation of Madonna in this topic. Definitely agree that Live to Tell is a good one.

Actually just looking at her discog, The Power Of Good-Bye is a decent ballad too. Beautiful Stranger was OK too. Really, the millennium was the cut-off point for good Madonna songs. First song of the 2000s was American Pie.
What about Frozen? I always had a soft spot for that.