Greatest Hits ’92 (Telstar, 1992)

Greatest Hits Of 92

Greatest Hits Of 92 r

Review
The fatbox was back but the title was abbreviated to Greatest Hits ’92. Telstar gave us 32 tracks which was two fewer than The Greatest Hits Of ’91 and also compared unfavourably with the latest volumes of the Now and Smash Hits series. The story of the year indeed.

The opening pair make you think the stereo is playing Now That’s What I Call Music 21. Bohemian Rhapsody and Goodnight Girl, forever entwined as consecutive chart-toppers. Simply Red and For Your Babies comes next; a lush and emotional ode to being parents. And then it’s Right Said Fred’s second 45 – the #3 hit Don’t Talk Just Kiss before we go red hot and blue with George Michael’s onomatopoeic Too Funky. Dance gold continues with KWS’s Please Don’t Go and Snap’s Rhythm Is A Dancer, both of which featured on Now That’s What I Call Music 22. Teenage kicks all through the night from Kriss Kross’ energetic Jump. Elsewhere Undercover and Kylie Minogue give us 1990s twists to a pair of classic 70s numbers Baker Street and Give Just A Little More Time while The Cure create another Lovecats millstone called Friday I’m In Love. Hotel Kilkenny fall apart.

Banger time: Kym Sims’ Too Blind To See It. A classic carefree quality jam that smoked the clubs during the winter of 1991/92. It’s followed by Marc Almond’s interpretation of The Days Of Pearly Spencer. Sublime. Watch out for the additional verse which gives it a more upbeat vibe. The race is almost run and then invaded by a Curtis Stigers’ ugly behemoth I Wonder Why. Ruby Trax – The NME’s Roaring Forty was released by the magazine in 1992 to commemorate 40 years of publication. The album features 40 cover versions of classic number one songs by popular bands of the era. It spawned a double A-side single featuring Manic Street Preachers’ searing version of Suicide Is Painless [listed as Theme from M*A*S*H] and The Fatima Mansions’ take on Bryan Adams’ (Everything I Do) I Do It for You. The first half ends with Stay, the year’s longest-running #1, and a tour de force from Marcella Detroit.

Disc 2 is the dance zone. The Shamen’s controversial Ebeneezer Goode and the driving R&B swing of Bizarre Inc. and I’m Gonna Get You. Right Said Fred do a Culture Club, UB40, KLF and make a second appearance with their #1 smash Deeply Dippy. Ain’t No Doubt proved that Jimmy Nail could finally make a decent record while Opus III’s It’s A Fine Day reworks Jane’s acappella from something intangible and wispy to a timeless dancefloor anthem. B is for breakbeat; Smart Es update the theme from Sesame Street for the 90s youth. Hardcore cheesey quavers but it works. Here’s the lowdown: No E.
A is for ‘Ardcore
B is for B.P.M.
C is for Chill Out
D is for Dance
F is for Flyerz
G is for Get Down
H is for Handz In The Air
I is for In The Mix
J is for Jack
K is for Kosmos
L is for Love (Summers Of)
M is for MC
N is for Nine-0-9
P is for Pumpin’
Q is for Q-Bass
R is for Rave
S is for Smart Es
T is for Techno
O is for Oops
U is for Ultra Violet
V is for Vinyl
W is for Warehouse
X is for X-press Yourself
Y is for Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
Z is for Zero Gravity

The jungle beats continue with SL2’s On A Ragga Tip and The Prodigy’s acid mess Everybody In The Place. The Bouncer is a wicked darkcore track from Kicks Like A Mule and its sentiments resonated very clearly with me during the early 90s. Hot on its heels are the Pasadenas’ nite flite soul of I’m Doing Fine and 2 Unlimited’s furious Workaholic. Elsewhere there’s Curiosity’s slight return with Hang On In There Baby, Annie Lennox’s breathtaking Why and Ten Sharp’s less well-remembered Pellow-lite You. Unfortunately Mr Big crassly sentimental To Be With You appears next and threatens to drown the final furlong with saccharine. However there is a redemption song: Vanessa Williams’ aptly-titled Save The Best Till Last. The ballad of ’92. Wish the lads were here.

Favourite tracks
Undercover – Baker Street

Opus III – It’s A Fine Day

Marc Almond – The Days Of Pearly Spencer

Kym Sims – Too Blind To See It

Lest we forget
Smart Es – Sesame’s Treet

Missing tracks and other thoughts
By 1992 these Telstar compilations were treading over ground that had already been covered by their rivals. Including these three top 10 hits would have helped:

Sisters Of Mercy – Temple Of Love (92). The 7″ mix of this is impossible to find on CD.
Guns ‘N Roses – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. The Use Your Illusion sprawl lasts all year.
Urban Hype – A Trip To Trumpton. Old skool will never die.

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3 Responses to Greatest Hits ’92 (Telstar, 1992)

  1. Pingback: The Awards 1993 (Polygram TV, 1993) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  2. Matt says:

    One thing to note here is that the front cover advertises that the album contains eight number ones when, in fact, there are nine.

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