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JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
The video itself feels like a bad trip by itself, people with triangles and eyeballs for heads and Gary Haisman looking as high as a kite.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Another thing I've noticed on the 20/10/88 edition, coming out of the D-Mob and Christians videos and the Enya performance (which is admittedly more video than performance, makes you wonder why they bothered having her in the studio), the picture jumps and wobbles slightly. Presumably something to do with the editing of the episode?

The whole episode's strange anyway, in the sense that it opens with a video, has two repeat performances, and even the two performances that are new don't look like they were in the studio with Steve & Caron. All of the links apart from the ones into Enya and Erasure are done in front of the bank of monitors, and you can't see any of the stages even on those links, as if they'd only built part of the set. Looks like it's just the monitor bank, one gantry and part of the corner of the set, and that's it. The more I look at it, there's clearly only a partial set in the studio, and the Kylie and Enya performances both look pre-recorded. I wonder if there were some issues that week.

There was an obvious edit coming out of the Sabrina performance on the 13/10 edition as well, presumably they had to retake the link and didn't edit it in very cleanly.
Last edited by james-2001 on 17 November 2019 1:51am
LL
Lottie Long Legs (previously Skytower) West Country (West) Spotlight
Another thing I've noticed on the 20/10/88 edition, coming out of the D-Mob and Christians videos and the Enya performance (which is admittedly more video than performance, makes you wonder why they bothered having her in the studio), the picture jumps and wobbles slightly. Presumably something to do with the editing of the episode?

The whole episode's strange anyway, in the sense that it opens with a video, has two repeat performances, and even the two performances that are new don't look like they were in the studio with Steve & Caron. All of the links apart from the ones into Enya and Erasure are done in front of the bank of monitors, and you can't see any of the stages even on those links, as if they'd only built part of the set. Looks like it's just the monitor bank, one gantry and part of the corner of the set, and that's it. The more I look at it, there's clearly only a partial set in the studio, and the Kylie and Enya performances both look pre-recorded. I wonder if there were some issues that week.

There was an obvious edit coming out of the Sabrina performance on the 13/10 edition as well, presumably they had to retake the link and didn't edit it in very cleanly.


Both Enya and Kylie were filmed that week. If you observe the colours of the neon tubes on the gantries (always a good guide when working out the date of a pre-record) you’ll see that they match the backdrop for the presenter links.
LL
Lottie Long Legs (previously Skytower) West Country (West) Spotlight
Saying that the D-Mob track was not pro drugs is about as credible to me as those who say that the No1 exactly four years later, Ebeneezer Goode had nothing to do with drugs whatsoever, never mind whether it was pro or anti. It's an insult to the intelligence.

That edit after Anthea Turner's intro to Milli Vanilli was glaringly obvious. If only Anthea could have been fully edited out.

Milli Vanilli never looked like a particularly likeable pair. Something about them seemed odd from the very start. Later proven as a fraud. Mind you, they did nothing that Plastic Bertrand hadn't done on TOTP way back in 1978 and not forgetting the guy Bobby Farrell from Boney M too while we're at it from a decade earlier.

Actually there must have been rather more non-singers fronting vocals on hit records who appeared on TOTP than we may realise. Next year, 89's biggest seller will feature another example which caused Lolleata Holloway much angst.

PP Arnold looked amazing for her age. I thought I'd misheard when it was said her appearance was the first since 1968.


Technically, the movement was known as “acid house”, something that the lyrics point to. Coincidentally, it was the beginning of the drugs culture, so the two were easily linked.

And yes, 1989 sees the culture of the false female vocalist. Katrin Quinol fronting Black Box, “Felly” (instead of Ya Kid K) on the Technotronic track, 49ers... the list goes on (and carries on into the early nineties, with C&C Music Factory and DJ H to name but two)
LL
Lottie Long Legs (previously Skytower) West Country (West) Spotlight
The video itself feels like a bad trip by itself, people with triangles and eyeballs for heads and Gary Haisman looking as high as a kite.


It was low-budget, mind. They could only afford to make two minutes worth of footage for it, as it was felt that the song would be a flop.
RT
Rich Tea Anglia (West) Look East
Another thing I've noticed on the 20/10/88 edition, coming out of the D-Mob and Christians videos and the Enya performance (which is admittedly more video than performance, makes you wonder why they bothered having her in the studio) , the picture jumps and wobbles slightly. Presumably something to do with the editing of the episode?



Enya's debut on TOTP in 1988 with her No1 Orinoco Flow reminded me strongly of Kate Bush's debut on TOTP in 1978 with her No1 Wuthering Heights. So many similarities. Two very distinct women with a song that was very much set apart from what would have been expected to top the charts but doing so magnificently.

I agree that having her in the studio with that elegant performance did not need to be interspersed with the video, certainly to the extent they did. Her studio performance should have stood all by itself, as it was so good visually.
SW
Steve Williams
Both Enya and Kylie were filmed that week. If you observe the colours of the neon tubes on the gantries (always a good guide when working out the date of a pre-record) you’ll see that they match the backdrop for the presenter links.


Well, indeed - and I also know that the Art of Noise performance on the following show was recorded that week as well, so all was well in the studio. I know it looked especially weird given that the Enya performance was also very video-heavy.

I think a lot of it is down to the direction, on Roobarbs recently Richard Marson was referring to the "lacklustre" direction by Tony Newman who usually directed game shows, and he also mentioned - because he's incredibly indescreet, as anyone who's read his books will know - that at this stage Brian Whitehouse was apparently not lavising much care and attention onto his work. Certainly the episodes directed by Whitehouse seem a bit dull compared to Ciani and Appel's episodes, so I think a lot of the wonkier moments in recent shows have just been dull or perfunctory direction.

Either a shortage of acts within the top forty that were willing to appear in the studio, or a policy of picking the higher placed songs irrespective, I guess.

Remember the episode in mid-1991 where both the number 41 (Northside) and 42 (Marillion) songs were featured in the studio? Possibly a change of policy dictated that rather than go video-heavy.


I don't think it was any great policy change, presumably given the two studio acts were ballads, they decided neither was uptempo enough to open the show so they opted for one of the videos instead. We'll see it again in a few weeks (and a couple of times in 1990, I recall) when they use a repeated performance to open the show. If they'd shown Kylie first it probably would have looked a more familiar programme.

There'd been a lot of controversy over the D-Mob song the previous episode, with lots of people claiming it was pro-drugs (though D-Mob himself has always insisted otherwise) and Steve & Caron enthusiastically introducing it, maybe it was connected to that? They'd stopped naming "Acid Man" by Jolly Roger in the charts that edition too.


Drug Alert was a regular Radio 1 campaign, it ran for a couple of years around that time. I remember John Walters slagging it off, saying if Simon Bates told you not to take drugs, he'd reach straight for the needle.

Brilliant timing this year - going from Steve Wright in a smiley T-shirt enthusiastically talking up We Call It Acieeed to Simon Mayo earnestly telling us about drug abuse within the space of a week.
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today
Milli Vanilli never looked like a particularly likeable pair. Something about them seemed odd from the very start. Later proven as a fraud. Mind you, they did nothing that Plastic Bertrand hadn't done on TOTP way back in 1978 and not forgetting the guy Bobby Farrell from Boney M too while we're at it from a decade earlier.

The thing with Milli Vanilli is, I wonder if the people behind it thought they'd get away with it forever or if they knew they'd be found out sooner or later. Even if the infamous skipping CD incident hadn't happened, surely we wouldn't have gotten to 2019 without them being exposed?
NG
noggin Founding member
Another thing I've noticed on the 20/10/88 edition, coming out of the D-Mob and Christians videos and the Enya performance (which is admittedly more video than performance, makes you wonder why they bothered having her in the studio) , the picture jumps and wobbles slightly. Presumably something to do with the editing of the episode?



Enya's debut on TOTP in 1988 with her No1 Orinoco Flow reminded me strongly of Kate Bush's debut on TOTP in 1978 with her No1 Wuthering Heights. So many similarities. Two very distinct women with a song that was very much set apart from what would have been expected to top the charts but doing so magnificently.

I agree that having her in the studio with that elegant performance did not need to be interspersed with the video, certainly to the extent they did. Her studio performance should have stood all by itself, as it was so good visually.


One of the major issues with some of these tracks was that they were so 'studio produced' that a straight live performance was impossible (how do you cover the gazillion layers of overdub on Orinoco Flow?) and so they were full mime. Sitting Enya at a piano, when there was very little (no?) piano on the track left you with nothing to really show when the track was doing something that couldn't sensibly be represented on screen.
LL
Lottie Long Legs (previously Skytower) West Country (West) Spotlight
One of the major issues with some of these tracks was that they were so 'studio produced' that a straight live performance was impossible (how do you cover the gazillion layers of overdub on Orinoco Flow?) and so they were full mime. Sitting Enya at a piano, when there was very little (no?) piano on the track left you with nothing to really show when the track was doing something that couldn't sensibly be represented on screen.


Well, indeed...
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
On a similar theme, it is documented that Bohemian Rhapsody was impossible to perform live (in particular the opening and the operatic part about three minutes in) so the initial solution was to split it up across the gig, before the solution was to play the operatic from tape.

Of course this helped to promote the rise of the music video which sort of solved the problem for programmes like TOTP, but the Beatles were doing those (not "music videos" as such but the principle was there) in the 1960s.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
BBC website showing there's only one episode on the week of the 12/13th December, and it's on the Friday at 9PM. They've clearly decided that slot works well for them. I'm guessing it will be a regular slot next year.

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