High Life – 15 Affenschrille Hitbananen (Polystar, 1985)

High Life Banana

High Life Banana r

The fourth High Life compilation to be released on a digital format landed in the shops just before Christmas 1985. The vinyl version included 18 tracks, three more than the CD. So we miss out on Lloyd Cole and The Commotions’ Brand New Friend, the Weather Girls’ Well-A-Wiggy and The Lodgers by The Style Council.

Sandra’s storming In The Night Of The Night is a great opener. An epic production which saw serious turntable action in continental discos during that winter. Robin Gibb’s Like A Fool is not his best work – a somewhat ordinary slice of introspective regret. Things pick up with those moody Swiss blokes, Double and The Captain Of Her Heart and its totally atmospheric keyboards. It was the era of Howards’ Way on BBC 1 every Sunday night from September to December. Bryan Ferry’s Boys and Girls LP contributed a few tracks; one of which was Don’t Stop The Dance. Ethereal and stylish; a groover with panache. Nothing will prepare you for Talkin’ About Rambo by L’Vira [session singer Linda Michelle] with its bizarre dialogue samples and shameless plundering of Relax.

“I’ve waited hours for this,
I’ve made myself so sick”
Close To Me was the second single from The Cure’s eerily consistent Head On The Door. A Cheers of Charles Street favourite. Illsick jazz breaks leading the way for the pure funk of Kool and The Gang’s Emergency. Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing appears as the 7:04 Brothers In Arms LP edit which is nice to have on CD. Fellow 1985 behemoths Simple Minds also appear with Alive And Kicking while there’s more techno pop from Modern Talking and the mysterious Cheri, Cheri Lady.

East German love time during the Cold War: Elton John’s Nikita [once again it’s the album version – why?] and Bryan Adams’ nostalgia-fest Summer Of ’69. Give me some old time religion – it’s the extraordinary disco gospel of Tramaine as loved by Larry Levan. Fall Down (Spirit Of Love) at the Paradise Garage. And we end with a double espresso. New Romantic’s icy Romantic Video has the beats, the alphabetical spelling and the dial tone. Meanwhile Fancy’s Bolero will break your hearts; the ultimate Italo disco tune with its so-sad melodies. The best of the best. Come into the twilight zone.

“We can still survive
Driftwood on the stream of life”

Favourite tracks
Bryan Ferry – Don’t Stop The Dance

Fancy – Bolero (Hold Me In Your Arms Again)

Lest we forget
New Romance – Romantic Video

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