More TV Memories – Forever.

Forever (ITV1, 2001-2004)

A long time ago now, when ITV had something that resembled a night time schedule, several music shows would be featured. These covered various genres and formats. I enjoyed The Dance Years (that I reviewed a while ago), and this was another one that I thought was worth setting the video for. Forever was produced by Music Box.

Now it seems that this is the same one that started out as a satellite channel in the mid-80s, definitely rivalling Sky Trax with its mix of music videos and interviews (as I can’t find any clips of Forever online for now I’ll use a picture from Music Box instead). When ITV in the Yorkshire region experimented with going 24 hours, they filled the time with Music Box. You can now watch TV at 3am, incredible!

However, this channel had closed down by the late-80s, and they went on to become an independent production company, making several late-night shows for ITV including heavy metal showcase Noisy Mothers and game show Popped In Crashed Out. But I enjoyed Forever the most out of all of them. There were two formats to this, either looking back at a genre (like Rock Forever) or a year (like 1992 Forever).

Editions would usually be about an hour long, and various music videos would be shown. There was no in-vision host, but a voiceover would offer a little more information about who was being featured. There were also lots of interviews from the archive shown. I did wonder where all these came from, because they clearly weren’t contemporary interviews that were specially made for this show.

I presume that they were all compiled from various Music Box productions. Of course, an hour isn’t exactly long enough to fit in every significant song that defined a genre or year, but in the days before YouTube and the like, this was definitely an interesting way to bring back some of these musical memories. Forever seemed to be an occasional series that just turned up whenever, but it was always worth the wait.

The YouTube Files – Sky Trax.

Sky Trax (Sky Channel, 1984-1989)

A while ago I looked back at some advert breaks that were shown on the Sky Channel in the 80s, which at this point was available on satellite in various countries across Europe. One of the shows that was promoted a lot looked rather interesting, so after having a look for some more clips on YouTube, I thought that it was worth a full review.

Back in the days of the Sky Channel, when they weren’t showing some imported sitcom, they filled most of the time in the morning and afternoon for hours on end, with Sky Trax, a music show coming from a cupboard in London featuring various hosts who introduced music videos, along with plenty of news and interviews with the biggest pop stars around at the time. “Are you going on tour soon?” is about as probing as the questions got. Well it was either this or more editions of The DJ Kat Show. vlcsnap-00035

There can’t have been a huge amount of viewers, but the average pop star wouldn’t miss any opportunity to promote their latest single on TV. Among the hosts was Pat Sharp, who had a terrific hairstyle even back then. Pat had worked in TV and radio long before Fun House, he hosted Top Of The Pops¬†as early as 1982, and by this point he was a success on Capital FM.vlcsnap-00033

And there was also Gary Davies, doing some moonlighting from his Sloppy Bit on BBC Radio 1. He hosted various features, including Young, Free And Single, and The Great Video Race. There were also shows dedicated to various genres and charts including Monsters Of Rock, Nescafe UK Top 40, and Soul Spectacular. You never knew what was going to happen next, and things often went with a bang! vlcsnap-00012

Gary was also among the hosts of The Eurochart Top 50, which was somewhat similar to Top Of The Pops, and he was always pleased that there were plenty of great records going up the chart. Gary must be fond of this era of music, as he is now the host of Sounds Of The 80s on BBC Radio 2. A few other familiar names were among the hosts, including Tony Blackburn, David Jensen, and Peter Powell. vlcsnap-00027

There was even a spin-off compilation album released called “16 Solid Hits”, and I’m sure they were. Sky Trax all these years on is a great archive of pop music from the mid-80s, it wasn’t all rubbish, honest. In 1989 though, the show came to an end when the Sky Channel was relaunched as Sky One, and they would now show revivals of The Price Is Right and Sale Of The Century all day. vlcsnap-00010

Along with Sky Trax, there were some other satellite and cable music channels in the 80s that had a similar mix of videos, interviews and features. There was Music Box, which in 1986 was also shown overnight on Yorkshire as they became the first ITV region to experiment with being on air 24 hours a day, and also the Super Channel. Who needs MTV when you’ve got this.