Top of the Pops 3 Nov 1988


Words: Chris Arnsby.
Nicky Campbell: “Good evening. Welcome to another star-studded edition of Top of the Pops we've got Tanita Tikaram, we've got Yaz, and let me tell you no expense has been spared, we have got Mark Goodier.”
Mark Goodier: “Oh-ho. And everything on Radio One in FM stereo. We start tonight with a welcome back to the charts for Gloria Estefan, One Two Three.”

 [24] GLORIA ESTEFAN & MIAMI SOUND MACHINE: 1-2-3. Observe the way Mark Goodier raises his microphone and then lowers it as Nicky Campbell starts talking. Did Mark forget how the introduction went or is Nicky Campbell cutting in?

I don't really have anything interesting or insightful to say about 1-2-3. It's one of those songs I remember being played to death on the radio(in FM stereo, natch) but the rhythms of Gloria Estefan, who now takes top billing over the Miami Sound Machine, never really thrilled me.


Sound man Graham Wilkinson is a bit slow fading up Gloria Estefan's microphone at the start of the performance. The backing singers do their bit counting 1-2-3-4, and then there's a cut to a close up of Gloria Estefan where her lips are moving but no sound can be heard.

Bonus points to the person working the caption generating machine (probably Margaret Horrocks who is credited as Graphic Designer). They get the flashing of the end caption to match the final rat-a-tat-tat of percussion which closes the song.

Graham Wilkinson makes good. He's a bit slow, again, fading Mark's microphone up at the end of the song with the result that Goodier's first few pearls of wisdom are lost to time.

Keep up the good work Graham.

[8] ROBERT PALMER: she makes my day. On video.

TOP 40 FROM 40 TO 31.

[26] TANITA TIKARAM: twist in my sobriety. An unexpectedly sombre and gloomy follow up to the more jolly Good Tradition. I like it. A lot.

The disco ball hung over the stage looks jaunty.

BREAKERS: [28  BRYAN FERRY let's stick together];  [17 ROBIN BECK first time].

[11] KYLIE MINOGUE: je ne sais pas porquoi. Mark Goodier is confused. “Watch this next video, see if you can work out how it's done 'cause I can't.” They used video effects Mark. I hope that helps. Also (POP FACT!) it was filmed on the set of 'Allo 'Allo!. Don't forget to add that to your book Unbelievable -Amazing True Stories from the World of Rock 'n' Roll.

TOP 40 FROM 30 TO 11. The acid house moral panic continues. No one must know the name of Jolly Roger's song at [23] or, later, D-Mob and Gary Haisman's at [7].

[4] YAZZ: stand up for your love rights. Sorry Yazz. Nothing to say. So, instead let's talk about One Day in the Life of Television, mentioned in last week's comments by mumu03.

It was a two hour ITV documentary broadcast on 01/11/1989 made by Yorkshire Television and recorded one year previously.

It's got a lovely section on Top of the Pops which confuses me lightly because 01/11/1988 was a Tuesday and I thought Top of the Pops recorded on Wednesday. Anyway, you can see the TotP section here https://youtu.be/QTUbfsjVjVs?feature=shared&t=3248

It's great. You get to see Brian Whitehouse and someone who I'm assuming is Vision Mixer Priscilla Hoadley, plus possibly Production Assistant Karen Rosie. The best bit -apart from how dangerous the studio looks at ground level with all those heavy cameras flying around- is the gallery talkback as shots are timed and directed for 1-2-3.

TOP 10.

[1] ENYA: orinoco flow. A repeat of the 20/10/1988 performance.

[25] GUNS N' ROSES: welcome to the jungle. Director (and Producer) Brian Whitehouse is trying something different for the link into the closing credits. The audience have been parted like the Red Sea and the camera pushes in towards the two hosts. It looks odd but the direction of Top of the Pops has been a bit (what's the word?) pedestrian recently and so I'll take anything new.

For the past two weeks TotP has closed with a repeat performance, this week it closes with a video. Is this a format change or not? I've already sounded the gong Brian. It's going to be a real pig to unsound it.

 PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: Tankita Tikaram, Twist In My Sobriety.


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