Summer Joyride was released by EMI Electrola in August 1991. The theme is straightforward – upbeat tunes with good vibrations. The track selection spans from 1978 to 1991 with the bulk of the material [17 tracks out of 30] hailing from the 1980s. The booklet features advertisements for albums by Chesney Hawkes, The Waterboys, Roxette, Pat Benatar, Roxette and Kraftwerk.
Roxette get this magical mystery tour underway with Joyride – #1 all over Europe during 1991. It’s followed by the tropical new wave of Trio Rio and the dance mix of New York-Rio-Tokyo. Move your feet to Charles D Lewis and the Benelux hit Soca Dance. Don’t turn around but instead feast on Lou’s Hollywood Bananas and the ska-lite Kingston Kingston. Kick off those flip flops and have a beach party with the Caribic Girls and Tam. So laid back she’s horizontal.
Ofra Haza’s Yemenite folk song Im Nin’Alu rudely interrupts the heady atmosphere. Like Streisand but with more soul. Paid in full. Three and a half minutes of madness. Other heavy-hitters include Mory Kante’s hypnotic Yeke Yeke [huge in UFO, Dublin c.1995], KC and The Sunshine Band’s Give It Up [where it’s 1983 all year round] and Kaoma’s sleight of hand shuffle of Lambada. For the road trip there’s the wonderfully catchy Vamos A La Playa from Righeira [also from the scorching July / August ’83] and Chico Chico’s version of that old reliable Bamboleo.
Time for a breather and a drink. Let The Proclaimers take it away with King Of The Road. Soulsister’s The Way To Your Heart brought the heart of Motown to winter 1988. The Belgian duo’s poppy soul didn’t set the UK charts alight and flopped in that cold February of 1989. Hell. The eclectic end to disc 1 continues with some US Go-Gos style rock in the form of The Rebel Pebbles’ Dream Lover. Finally the blurb on the inlay comes alive. A German house cover of Crystal Waters’ Gypsy Woman from the tastefully-named Homeless. A perfect tonic before half time.
Blog favourite Chris Rea is first out of the traps on disc 2. His 1988 update of On The Beach; even more evocative and languid than the 1986 original. From Newcastle to Switzerland then – it’s Phil Carmen and his seven minute ballad On My Way In L.A. Arlo Guthrie eat your heart out; this is the real deal. A #18 hit in the West German charts of 1985. Gentle jazzy breaks before the Four Tops’ insane-in-the-brain Loco In Acapulco, Karl Keaton’s sweet soul of Love’s Burn and Johnny Nash’s lilting Rock Me Baby.
I really wasn’t expecting Frank Zappa to pop up but he does. Bobby Brown. It’s totally misanthropic of course but that’s his prerogative. What follows is a sequence of more well-known tunes. Culture Club’s Do You Really Want To Hurt Me and the Beach Boys’ dead sea surf Kokomo. Reggae / raggae with UB40’s good times chant Kingston Town, Maxi Priest’s cool groover Close To You and 10CC’s mighty boosh of Dreadlock Holiday. Middle school dance heart-throb Timmy T kills the groove with One More Try before Santana brews up a storm with Gypsy Woman (a different one). Last orders to Gloria Estefan and her Latin pop Oye Mi Canto.
“Changes happen overnight“.
Righeira – Vamos A La Playa
Chris Rea – On The Beach (Summer ’88)
Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown
Rebel Pebbles – Dream Lover
Lest we forget
Trio Rio – New York-Rio-Tokyo