Wild Hits! is the second CD tie-in from the Formel Eins television series and was released in 1987. It features 16 tracks, two more than its predecessor Special.
Four of the tracks here would also appear on Now 9 – Boy George’s remarkable cover of Everything I Own, A-ha’s majestic Manhattan Skyline, Freddie Mercury’s bafflingly popular Great Pretender and Hot Chocolate’s evergreen You Sexy Thing. A further three tracks also turned up on Hits 6 – Club Nouveau’s R&B blast Lean On Me, Mel and Kim’s utterly brilliant Respectable [only British girl band to have a UK #1 hit in the 1980s] and John Farnham’s tour-de-force You’re The Voice.
However it’s the less-remembered stuff that’s the real draw here. We start with a novelty of sorts – David Bowie’s Day-In Day-Out from his most reviled LP Never Let Me Down. This lead single is a decent slice of ’80s Bowie with a great hook. Scotland’s Glass Tiger were one of the high points of the previous Formel Eins compilation [Someday]; here they bring a Big Country-edge to the stirring Thin Red Line. I’d like to have seen them get a big concert support slot in Croke Park or Slane back then. Meanwhile Tina Turner’s Break Every Rule [only reached #43 hit in the UK] is a defiantly sung and emotionally-charged track and its under-appreciated status is a mystery.
Robbie Nevil and Mixed Emotions make repeated appearances here with the blustering Dominoes and the holiday-camp-naffness that is Bring Back (Sha Na Na). Peter Wolf’s Come As You Are reminds me of a pub rock Def Leppard. Crowded House’s timeless Don’t Dream It’s Over started featuring in slow sets around the time I started hitting the local discos while Erasure’ It Doesn’t Have To Be continues the momentum set by Sometimes. To finish up Hot Chocolate get a second bit of the cherry with the positive and catchy Everyone’s A Winner.
A-ha – Manhattan Skyline
Glass Tiger – Thin Red Line
Lest we forget
David Bowie – Day-In Day-Out