Friday, 31 August 2012

Top of the Pox

It's all about The Roxy this week, ITV's short-lived chart show which bothered the TV schedules between 1987 and '88. Another Tyne Tees production, this one was clearly set up to rival Top of the Pops - even going as far as to snaffle Kid Jensen from the Pops presenting team - but The Roxy never even began to capture the public's imagination. It failed at the first hurdle, really, by having an instantly forgettable sax-laden theme song. Here it is, followed by a short link from Jensen and some anonymous Northern Irish bloke.

Another area where they went wrong was by not using the Gallup UK Top 40 - i.e. the only one that anyone paid attention to or cared about - as their chart of choice, instead plumping for the Network Chart, a sort of independent local radio Aldi version. Here's "Kid" with the Top 10 rundown from 9th June 1987. Hilariously, he refers to George Michael's (admittedly risible) I Want Your Sex as "the controversial cut" (at least I think he says "cut"!), as saying the actual title on early-evening TV would've clearly sent the country into disarray.

So far so mediocre. But oh look! It's one-hit wonder Taja Savelle miming along to Love Is Contagious. This performance is notable for two things: 1) Her remarkable hair. It's utterly transfixing. She's like a good-looking Medusa. & 2) She's sitting down! At least for the first minute she is. Then, just when you're starting to think that maybe she's a Paralympic popstrel or sommat, she stands up and proves that those legs do work after all. Thank gawd for that.

As it says on screen there, Taja was yet another Prince protege. It's funny how the purple pervert only ever seemed to write singles for especially good-looking girlies. Why, it's almost as if he had some sort of agenda!

Finally, here's Depeche Mode & Never Let Me Down Again featuring a midriff-baring Dave Gahan. I'm surprised Prince never wrote a song for him as well*.

*No I'm not.

Anyway, that's about it for The Roxy. Plunged into the middle of a pretty uninspiring pop landscape and up against a programme with over two decades of history, it was always going to be doomed from the start. Mind you, it didn't help that, much like this post, it was all a bit half-arsed really. I'm just sorry for wasting all our time here. Poxy Roxy!

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