ALF’s Sommer Hit Parade (Polystar, 1989)



The second ALF compilation was released at the beginning of 1989’s hot summer. Our hero relaxes at the beach with a cold drink and leans against a surfboard. A cat watches him. Balefully. Cannibalism on her mind? She Drives Me Crazy shows us the way, FYC in full flight. Next up is the SAW remix of Kool And The Gang’s Celebration. A heavier beat, a minor chart placing of #56. Coldcut’s Ahead Of Our Time works so well because of the collaborations. Lisa Stansfield’s stunning vocal mixed with a frenetic piano cut-up makes People Hold On an enduring dance classic. It was the best of times in Ibiza; B.V.S.M.P. keep the flame burning with their Balearic summer edit of On And On while Geoffrey Williams works the groove with There’s A Need In Me. Recalling Forrest. Feel the need.

The Style Council bowed out with a heady cover of Joe Smooth’s Promised Land. It was a truly singular adventure that lasted six wonderful years.
“Let me just say this: we may meet again, we may not, but as always, keep constant in your thoughts that the future is simply an invisible jigsaw for which you, and you alone, can supply the pieces to make up the full picture. And now, without further dew, let me offer you smiles, no tears, and an affectionate kiss to your tender soul”.
(The Cappuccino Kid)

The Hoff’s Looking For Freedom leaves scorch marks on my ears. It was the Baywatch era. What of Robin Beck? I wish she had starred in the series. Save Up All Your Tears made the top 10 in West Germany. Bonnie Tyler and Cher have also covered this; I prefer the Sissyneck. Bananarama teamed up with French & Saunders and Kathy Burke for Red Nose Day, Their Help has lots of light-heartedness. And The Real Thing perfect the fine art of re-surfacing with the understated Crime Of Love. That’s one that completely passed me by in 1989.

All hail Mark Shaw and Then Jerico. Big Area had that immense vibe; a bittersweet epic. It’s preceded by the spectacular moodiness of The Jeremy Days’ Brand New Toy. A new sound for today’s youth. Toni Childs: big voice, big talent. Don’t Walk Away is just adequate without ever really catching fire. Meanwhile One 2 Many came from Norway and Downtown is a great piano piece; worthy of the Range. Now forgotten and not available on i-Tunes. Readers – spread the word.

There’s a second slot for Robin Beck at the beginning of disc 2. The First Time is it. Tony Carey’s Comes The Flood is a pleasant interlude before Hot Chocolate’s gauche disco mis-step What About You. Raze’s timeless flight: Break 4 Love is hypnotic. No more tears. The beat goes on with the Marshall Jefferson and Vicky Martin-penned Not Gonna Do It. A fine mix by Larry Petterson. And it’s all smooth with the updated Paranoimia ’89. More menace than the original. The sequence is broken by Sam Brown’s gritty Walking Back To Me and the forceful groove of Texas. I Don’t Want A Lover. Sublime.

Opportunity knocked for The Window Speaks; a somewhat overblown take on the fresh-in-the-mind Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart. We slide into the uncool zone: it’s Chris De Burgh and his evocative Sailing Away. Reg strikes back with the mixed-up Town Of Plenty while Mandy Winter gives it socks X-Factor style with He’s A Man. The insanely hot Sabrina serves up the comical Like A Yo Yo. Check out the video. ALF’s Sommer Hit Parade’s final track is an oddity from Tommi Piper Singt ALF – Tujujahe (Es Tut So Wohl, Schön Faul Zu Sein). Does it so well, good to be lazy.

Favourite tracks
Texas – I Don’t Want A Lover

Then Jerico – Big Area

Raze – Break 4 Love

Vicky Martin – Not Gonna Do It (Larry Patterson Mix)

Lest we forget
Art Of Noise – Paranoimia ’89

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