My Favorite Music Videos, Part Five: Nomo’s ‘Red Lipstick’

I first saw this video in 1985 on NBC’s “Friday Night Videos,” that network’s answer to MTV. Later on it was a regular fixture on the UHF Odyssey* music video channel, carried overnight from Cocoa Beach, FL on a UHF channel out of Johnstown, PA.

(Some background: when I was first able to tune in to that station–whose call letters and number I can’t recall–I was so impressed with its overnight music video content that I went to Radio Shack and bought a fairly large motorized UHF antenna, mounting it to a fireplace chimney on the roof. My childhood Western PA home didn’t get cable as yet in its rural setting, so MTV was not an option. That actually turned out to be a good thing, as I got to see things I would not have seen on MTV…like The Fat Boys, a hilarious and largely overlooked treat from the 80s. This is perhaps their best video.)

When I first saw Nomo I thought they were Japanese. Perhaps it was the name–“nomou” in Japanese, which, with hard masculine pronunciation, becomes “nomo,” which is “Let’s drink!.” Perhaps the video text said they were from Japan.

There is another band named Nomo…however, this video is from the band started by David Batteau, which produced one minor hit–the song in this video. And, as it turns out, they’re not from Japan.

What I particularly like about it is its Duran Duran-esque style. First, we start out in a landscape not unlike the Desert Southwest…then, a photo studio, and next, a motion picture set (with smoldering fires amongst carcasses of old airplane fuselages). Next, a swimming pool, followed by an impossibly blue room…then a black and white retro beach scene, and a construction site. The video closes with the band playing in a mock performance video on the roof of a high-rise in what looks like downtown Los Angeles.

Unlike most such performance videos, however, the camera moves in a counter-clockwise direction and doesn’t follow the lead singer (Batteau) as he moves about the set, performing the vocals. This feature alone is very different from most of these types of videos. He crosses in front of the camera several times as he is singing along with the vocal track.

It’s a catchy tune…from a pop perspective, there’s a great hook with the “Red red red lipstick” vocals. The video is very good as well; and while not up to the same well-defined qualities as most of the others found here, the concept and the cinematographic execution are well done. (Remember–this is 1985.) And, like a excellent pop song should, it ends on an upbeat and very positive note.

It’s a great and noteworthy video, and it has a place amongst my all-time favorites.

I could find little information on the Internet about the Odyssey video channel, despite more than an hour’s worth of searching. If you read the comments about the video on YouTube, others mention it as well. If you have any more information about this UHF channel, please leave comments. They are moderated and not made immediately public, so even if you have sketchy information there’s no need to feel hesitant about sharing it. It could be a great help.)

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7 thoughts on “My Favorite Music Videos, Part Five: Nomo’s ‘Red Lipstick’

  1. I remember watching videos on Odyssey around 1985 on KVNJ-tv in Fargo, ND…they would broadcast Odyssey during non-primetime hours…
    Like you, I’ve found VERY little about this network.

  2. I used to be able to, in the overnight hours, fuzzily, on Channel 64 and 65, depending on the weather, view distant new Jersey and New York Odyssey broadcasts, from a hill in Unionville, Pa.

    For some reason I cannot load the book link, so ignore any duplications.

    Nomo: Red Lipstick was, as well, one of my faces. Heard it at Granite Run Mall’s Wee Three Records. I remember the clerk was duly impressed, and agreed it was horribly catchy, and DEFINITELY was going to be a huge hit. We were wrong.

    Blue Nile: Stay…STILL ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITES!!! Stay…Stay…Stay and I will understand you!

    Alphaville: The Jet Set. Forever Young lp was HUGE UN EUROPE (and Big in Japan, haha, as it actually was, I believe). Forever Young, the original version, was seeping into American airplay, and Odyssey carried The Jet Set in its rotation. The mix in the video was different than the one in my LP. YES! I owned the album. Bought it, actually, for Big On Japan. Excellent lp, by the way. WE ARE THE JETSET, HOP ON THE BEAM!

    Dancin feet, dancing in the key of life…great to dance around to. Didn’t want to buy it, though.

    I don’t specifically remember the Fat Boys being on Odyssey, but I would’ve considered them so mainstream that I probably didn’t notice. This was the summer of 85 or 86, so I went to an alternate school because I was a bit badly behaved. Everybody listened to rap. But the Fat Boys are back…lol.

    Many nights my friend Anne and I partook of herbal medicine, lol, and tried, tried to get 64 or 65 to come in. My parents had a rotator on the antenna, so we could, overnight, at least, get crazy stations to come in. Odyssey Network made our night, when we could get them in. I was trying to Google Odyssey and not coming up with much, and saw your Red Lipstick blog. You made my night!!!

    Despite my inebriated state during those years, I have an oddly good memory. If anyone has any obscure questions, I can try to get my brain to work.

    PS I still use an antenna. Went cable for a few years, but why? It isn’t like MTV shows videos and I didn’t have money for the higher tiers. Free is free, and, heck, I really only watch the news, The Monkees, I Dream Of Jeannie and Bewitched, lol.

    • Lisa:

      Thanks so much for your comments, and sorry to take so long to respond.

      Yes, Odyssey gave me a window into music videos that I wasn’t seeing anywhere else. Like yourself, there were some, uh, ‘chemical enhancements’ back then, and I’m not sure how much I actually have forgotten…but when I was thinking about and writing the ‘Favorite Videos’ entries for BroodCoffeeTalk, I had no problem recalling ‘Red Lipstick’. Yes, it was catchy and to this day I don’t get why the song didn’t get more airplay.

  3. I remember as a kid watching the Odyssey Network in the mid 80′ out of a station in New Jersey (I lived in Delaware), No one I know seems to remember it, so I’m glad I found this site. I think the Tag Line for the channel was “The Love Rock” or something like that. I also remember that they didn’t have any on-air personalities, just a voice over. For some reason, the only video I remember watching now was Joan Armatrading’s What do Boys Dream

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