Top of the Pops: The Story of 1985

Top of the Pops: The Story of 1985



These annual TotP snapshots of a year in pop are much more than hastily put-together clips packages of old studio performances, they’re fascinating cultural history lessons of social change seen through the prism of popular music. And a chance to marvel at some epic 1980s fashions, of course.

1985 was the year of Live Aid, the most elaborate fundraising initiative pop culture had undertaken and a game changer in the marriage of entertainment and politics. Pop was bigger, increasingly provocative and more ambitious than it had ever been, with serious-minded heart-throbs a-ha and Tears for Fears competing with the high-energy electro of Dead or Alive, power ballads and epic hair care of Bonnie Tyler and tub-thumping about Thatcher’s divided Britain from Billy Bragg.


Recalling the year that saw Top of the Pops become a barometer for the state of the nation, as the ambitious A-ha, King and Dead or Alive competed for attention with passionate politicos Billy Bragg and the Style Council. Meanwhile, new Electro funksters Loose Ends and Paul Hardcastle jostled with a wind tunnel of power ballads from performers such as Bonnie Tyler. Live Aid brought pop generations together at Wembley, and Shakin' Stevens landed his first Christmas number one.

Cast & Crew

Performer A-ha
Performer King
Performer Dead or Alive
Performer Billy Bragg
Performer The Style Council
Performer Loose Ends
Performer Paul Hardcastle
Performer Bonnie Tyler
Performer Shakin' Stevens
Director Matt O'Casey
Executive Producer Mark Cooper
Producer Matt O'Casey
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