Like its predecessor, Hits Album 5, the sixth volume in the Dutch Hits series contained 16 tracks. The bulk of these had already featured on varying UK compilations such as Hits 5 [Red Box], The Hits Album 6 [Madonna, Club Nouveau, George Michael and Aretha Franklin, Terence Trent D’Arby, Johnny Logan, Fleetwood Mac], The Hits Album 7 [Spagna, Desireless], Now That’s What I Call Music 9 [Simply Red] and Now That’s What I Call Music 10 [Jan Hammer].
First touch to Madonna. La Isla Bonita was the fifth single from True Blue and despite this handicap, reached #1 in the UK on 25 April. The single remix has been bumped from history and radio by the better known album version. Nice to see it ported over from the UK Hits series. Club Nouveau pull over the best ever cover of Lean On Me while Spagna’s Call Me was a happy musical memory from Italian school tour of August 1986 – a most danceable slice of Euro disco. Endless nights in the open air disco at Genazzano. The hot Mediterranean vibe continues with Simply Red’s energetic The Right Thing before the Breakfast Club’s new wave goodie Right On Track.
Aretha Franklin’s mid-1980s revival was helped by a guest spot [assisting the Eurythmics on Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves] and a duet with George Michael – I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) which is compiled here. It’s followed by some super electric R&B from Terence Trent D’Arby and If You Let Me Stay. Red Box’s For America is zany, hypnotic and not-quite-like-anything-else. Even now. Johnny Logan’s show-stopping Hold Me Now won Eurovision ’87 and was omitted from the CD version of the UK’s Hits 6 so it’s a welcome inclusion here. Making their love on wasteland was Spandau Ballet’s battle cry of late 1986; as time passes the awkward now sounds positively epic. Unfortunately for single junkies, it’s the 5:59 album take that appears here.
The soundtrack to Miami Vice made perfect use of pop, rock and Jan Hammer’s specially-created score. An arrangement of Crockett’s Theme originally featured in the season one episode Calderone’s Return but it wasn’t released until 1987 and made #1 in Holland. You’ll hear the single version in the episode Stone’s War. But back to Calderone’s Return – during the shootout in Crockett’s home, the blank adaptor fitted on the AC556 assault rifle used by Zubiena came loose and was propelled form the barrel at considerable speed directly towards the camera crew shooting the action; fortunately they were protected by a thick perspex screen. Zubiena, however, was not so lucky, as the adapter ricocheted off of the screen and struck him in the shoulder with enough force to spin him around and knock him to the floor. Fortunately, he suffered no long-term injuries.
Cock Robin’s Just Around The Corner opened their second LP After Here Through Midland. It’s lush, sophisticated and dramatic with a soulful edge. No surprise that you still hear it on French radio. Speaking of Gallic matters; Desireless’ Voyage Voyage bombed at the first attempt. It’s here, understated but brimming with potential. Another perfectly sung track from this era was Alison Moyet’s Is This Love? Bygones devil: a pop resurrection that reached #3 in the winter of 1986. The year’s main shaker was Graceland. Paul Simon’s controversial LP still polarises people; some who would hate him anyway. The 7″ mix of The Boy In The Bubble is very scarce and a welcome find here. Starvation and terrorism mixed with wit and optimism. So it’s goodbye from the house on the hill; Fleetwood Mac’s storming Big Love with its super bass and grand finale.
“Let our bodies be twisted but never our minds”.
Paul Simon – The Boy In The Bubble (Remix)
Alison Moyet – Is This Love?
Lest we forget
Cock Robin – Just Around The Corner