I had forgotten about Super Willi. The green-skinned ostrich was the frontman of a brief West German compilation series [just two volumes] released by Ariola in 1988. The first one was titled Super Willi’s Power Hits and included 30 tracks on the double LP while CD buyers had to be content with a 20 track single disc.
The focus is on tracks from the spring of 1988. Taylor Dayne’s upfront and demanding Prove Your Love is the first one out of the traps; in the UK it was her second and final top 10 hit. Danny Wilson’s soulful Mary’s Prayer is next while Whitney Houston’s less well-remembered Where Do Broken Hearts Go is a classic example of her ability to infuse a song with just the right amount of emotional juice. Two UK chart-toppers also feature in the opening third; Don’t Turn Around and I Should Be So Lucky.
It’s Dieter Bohlen time. Blue System’s My Bed Is Too Big is a gauche mis-step but his arrangement, production and writing on She’s A Lady [sung by Les McKeown] and C.C. Catch’s House Of Mystic Lights are top-notch. Chris Norman’s Broken Heroes is rather anodyne though and proves that the Modern Talking man did not always have the midas touch.
Other standouts include Sinitta’s Cross My Broken Heart, Joyce Sims and her plaintive radio mix of Come Into My Life, T’Pau’s elusive Bridge Of Spies (US Version) and Johnny Hates Jazz’s fourth home run Heart Of Gold. Erasure also upped a gear in 1988 with the thought-provoking Ship Of Fools while Coldcut’s collaborative period [Junior Reid, Mark E. Smith, Queen Latifah, Lisa Stansfield] hit paydirt with Yazz’s assistance on Doctorin’ The House.
1988 was also the year that the UK came runners-up in the Eurovision Song Contest. Go was performed by Scott Fitzgerald and deserved so much more than a #52 chart placing. Den Harrow was still burning the Italo flame with Born To Love while Okay’s Pink Floyd-influenced-via-the-soul-of-Depeche-Mode Education remains on the era’s most endearing time capsules. So what became of all those school children?
Les McKeown – She’s A Lady
Okay – Education
T’Pau – Bridge Of Spies (US Version)
Lest we forget
Scott Fitzgerald – Go