The BBC Four repeats of the chart show head into 1989.
2020 sees BBC Four go back thirty-one years as they continue with the Top of the Pops repeats, currently in December 1988. And what a year that has been for music in the re-runs with hits from Yazz, The Pet Shop Boys, Brother Beyond, Bobby McFerrin and of course Kylie and Jason to name only a few of the big hit-makers in those twelve months. The move into the final year of the 1980s is trumpeted with the documentary Top of the Pops: The Story of 1989.
As the 80s concludes with Margaret Thatcher’s tenth year in power, in contrast to worldwide political change, Top Of The Pops provides the perfect barometer of the UK’s end of decade uncertainty.
Record producers Stock Aitken and Waterman enjoyed a final year of chart domination courtesy of Jason Donovan. The dawn of Madchester beckoned in the shape of the Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses, as a fresh front of female artists arrived on the scene, including Lisa Stansfield and Transvision Vamp’s Wendy James, who brought attitude and power.
An old-school duet between 60s legend Gene Pitney and an 80s icon Marc Almond, those funky dreads Soul II Soul and yes, that pesky megamix-loving rabbit, Jive Bunny. Meanwhile, Radio 1’s old guard are stood down as a team of fresh-faced recruits from children’s television now helm the BBC’s weekly pop warhorse which remains torn between its sense of heritage and the emerging threat of youth tv.
Stars of the year Jason Donovan, Lisa Stansfield, Shaun Ryder, Chris Rea, Marc Almond, Sharleen Spiteri, Jazzie B, Jenny Powell and more deliver their tales of a poptastic 1989 at Television Centre, as the Beeb prepare to head into the 1990s and that would bring even more drastic changes to the chart show that began life in 1964.
Top of the Pops: The Story of 1989 airs on Friday, January 3rd at 9.30pm on BBC Four