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Top of the Pops

1989 now on BBC Four

AK
Araminta Kane


I would say that MisTeeq and Lisa Maffia very much *do* deserve a mention, but they were way past their best by this time and the landfill apartheid hell wasn't too far away. And really, the fact that Victoria Beckham still thought she could have a pop career ...! (Those two full albums that were never released ...)

I never saw the 25.08.94 edition at the time - it was "lost" as it were while we were moving house.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
And really, the fact that Victoria Beckham still thought she could have a pop career ...! (Those two full albums that were never released ...)


Didn't her record company actually go bankrupt as a result of her career failing? Giving her massive advances they never made back.

Quote:
I never saw the 25.08.94 edition at the time - it was "lost" as it were while we were moving house.


I have a copy of it if you want me to send it you.
AK
Araminta Kane
Can't say I'm all that desperate to see that edition now, though the description on here does make it seem different at least.

According to a latterday chart book, that (as it turned out) one-off double A-side single, by someone who had clearly outlived whatever usefulness she had ever had in pop terms, was on a label called 19 Recordings/Moody (!), who I presume were an independent label who had staked everything on it. I had thought that might have been the collapse of Telstar, who had diversified from TV-advertised compilations into the UK Garage boom and then went under when that bubble so disastrously burst, but seemingly not. The thing about TOTP at the very end is that there was really very little on it that could be a true generational dividing line, compared to what there would be now (not that I think it should come back, at all) and indeed in the early 00s when I remember thinking that Oxide & Neutrino doing "Rap Dis" *could* have been one of those moments, but couldn't be because everyone who would have objected was watching Coronation Street instead.
CO
Colm (previously Col) Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
Thinking about the introduction of the '85 line-up, sadly, the number of eligible records which could have appeared on TOTP was quite small within the Top 40:

Outside the Top 10, they couldn't feature songs which were climbing back up the charts, as they hadn't matched their peak position (including Alison Moyet); nor could they feature songs from the last previous regular edition of TOTP (in this case, 20-12-2014, hence Thompson Twins, Spandau Ballet, Bronski Beat - leaving only three tracks they could have featured - Grandmaster Melle Mel, Smiley Culture and Sal Solo - which they did.
AK
Araminta Kane
Filling the first show of the year was always difficult because a lot of songs had gone back up and there weren't many high climbers, and very few new singles out. It was one of those charts (w/e 4th January 1986, but announced on New Year's Eve 1985) that Gary Davies described, in *that* accent, as "real weird". This was the reason why Frankie Goes to Hollywood, before the ban, were on the first show of 1984 - which, quite apart from filling time with montages to mark the programme's 20th anniversary, also had to feature the rather out-of-season "Christmas Countdown" by Frank Kelly (released a year earlier in Ireland). Though still more in season than when BBC Four showed it last summer ...

I think I'm right in saying that in the edition featuring the equivalent chart at the end of 1991/start of 1992 they had - ageing producer alert - Cliff Richard on doing a pre-chart performance of his New Year single, one of the few Top 40 hits on that subject (ABBA's New Year song, though never a single, is far and away the biggest New Year pop song, but no pop song has come anywhere near the status of "Auld Lang Syne" compared to the status of Christmas pop songs relative to traditional ones) which then became one of countless new entries the following week, as the industry came back to life. That was also the period when two utterly contrasting singles, of which only Tim Rice & Marcello Carlin could possibly have bought both (the one grudgingly for the one, the other grudgingly for the other) climbed from outside the Top 40 to number 10 in consecutive weeks, and the BBC repeated something they have since wiped (which I shan't go into here - suffice it to say it's nothing to do with pop).
:-(
A former member
Its been rather interesting to hear that top of the pops was having the same trouble as radio 1 during the 90s
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
I have copies of the last two episodes of CD:UK from 2003, and both episodes make a big deal of Victoria's single- one has her performing and taking part in the features, the other has Cat interviewing her at her home in Madrid. A hell of a lot of publicity went into it for it to flop.
VM
VMPhil Granada North West Today
Its been rather interesting to hear that top of the pops was having the same trouble as radio 1 during the 90s

The reason Stanley Appel gives for ditching the Radio 1 DJs is because ‘audience research suggested people were fed up with [them]’, so you can at least give him credit for predicting the clearout a few years later.

You can read the rest of his memories here: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/feb/04/how-we-made-top-of-the-pops
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Although ironically the Radio 1 DJs that were bought back in 1994 were the same ones that were presenting before the 1991 revamp. For the most part (apart from Gary Davies), the ones that were cleared out by Bannister weren't still presenting TOTP by 1991 anyway.

I'd like to hope Stan Appel is still alive and willing to contribute to the Story of 1991 if/when BBC4 get that far, would be interesting to hear his side in such a show. Sadly we don't get the views of Michael Hurll and won't get the views of Paul Ciani in these shows as they've passed on, so it would be good to be able to have the producer actually contribute.
Last edited by james-2001 on 15 January 2018 7:51pm
DE
DE88 UTV Newsline
Both Appel and Andi Peters oversaw dreadful revamps, yet Appel never gets as much flak as Andi - presumably because of how old he was at the time of his revamp, the fact that he'd been involved with the show one way or another almost since it began (in contrast, Andi's only previous involvement was presenting two episodes in the Blaxill era), and the fact that the show survived for another 12 years after he retired.

And he seems honest enough in that Guardian article - saying that he was against the miming anyway, and that he doesn't know if the Beeb were right to end the show in '06. He appears to have chosen his words carefully regarding the presenters he recruited, however, saying that they "seemed to work" (because, of course, only Dortie and Franklin stayed on beyond autumn '92, and only presented together at Christmas after that point - apparently they hated each other).

If BBC4 *do* get to '91, then at the current rate they'll get there in 2021. Appel will be nearing 90 by then, if he's still with us.
Joined 8 January 2017. Retired 1 January 2019. Officially returned 12 July 2020. Can't rule out retiring again.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
I think there might be the thing as well with the Peters relaunch that by that point the show was pretty much seen as being on its last legs and the relaunch was being seen as being a last roll of the dice- so there was a lot of attention on it. I don't know if that was really being seen as the case back in 1991.
BH
BillyH Founding member London London
What were the reasons given for the show ending again? The internet (despite Youtube having just started where modern clips of it could have thrived)? Low audience figures (despite airing on a Sunday afternoon)? Low physical sales (despite the download boom just about to kick off)? Or just that the BBC couldn't be bothered with it anymore in a late 80s Doctor Who sort of way?

I think it could have easily lasted a few more years - put back to primetime and with the budget increased - but I seriously doubt that the show would have survived Savilegate, and therefore after 2012.
Member since 26 May 2001

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