Sommer Smash Hits (CBS, 1987)

Sommer Smash Hits

Sommer Smash Hits r

Review
Sommer Smash Hits was released as a 26 track double LP and cassette by CBS during 1987. The CD version was a single disc containing 18 songs. Missing from the CD are the Other Ones’ Holiday, Cutting Crew’s Any Colour, Gary Moore’s Friday On My Mind, Mental As Anything’s Lets Go To Paradise, Ferry Aid’s Let It Be, Latin Quarter’s Nomzamo, Oran ‘Juice’ Jones’ 1.2.1 and Alexander O’Neal’s Fake. And as far as I can make it, this compilation marks the first appearance of Larry the rat and is categorised as such.

Mental As Anything’s catchy Live It Up is a suitable opening track which nicely leads into the classic rock sound of the Stabilizers’ One Simple Thing. Video directed by David Fincher. Next is Cock Robin’s lush and sophisticated Just Around The Corner. Check out the remasters of their first two albums which have been lovingly put together by Vinny Vero. Sally Oldfield’s atmospheric Silver Dagger fits the mood here; a more understated type of Moonlight Shadow. And then it’s the great lost Bangles 45; the brooding and voyeuristic Following with lead vocals by Michael Steele. Jealousy, paranoia and obsession after the breakup of a relationship. Apparently it was about Steele’s high school sweetheart. The 7″ version is included here. There was no promotional video.

The solemn theme continues with Bonnie Bianco’s melancholy ballad My First Love and The Window Speaks’ tortured Man Of The World. Depeche Mode’s underrated Strangelove is next, a fast-paced synth track that the band subsequently thought of as ‘too cluttered’. It ended up being re-recorded as a much slower number on Music For The Masses. Some Italo disco next; Eddy Huntington’s breezy Up And Down plus Spagna’s timeless Call Me. Remember Off? Three people from Frankfurt who went onto play a major part in the German dance scene. Luca Anzilotti and Michael Münzing as producers while Sven Väth became a leading trance DJ. Step By Step is a seminal and haunting work. It’s followed by yet another Italo Boot Mix – Volume VIII which consists of Silver Pozzoli’s Pretty Baby, Albert One’s For Your Love, Solo’s Harem, P4F’s Diamond and T Ark’s Count Me On. Den Harrow also catches the wave on the pulsating Don’t Break My Heart.

Time to get our soul shoes on as Hot Chocolate stir it up with the Groove Mix of Every 1’s A Winner and Terence Trent D’Arby’s still-fresh breakthrough If You Let Me Stay. Timeless flight with Jam and Lewis at the helm on the S.O.S. Band’s smooth disco of No Lies. Falco in his prime; the Emotional LP sleeve had a backdrop like Elvis’ comeback of 1968. The title track emerged as a single and was produced by Bolland and Bolland. A desperate man in a world so cold. The master of pop makes the cheesiest ballad sound magnificent. Last men standing are Die Ärzte covering Walk Like An Egyptian. Pass.

Favourite tracks
Off – Step By Step

Eddy Huntington – Up And Down

Lest we forget
Bangles – Following

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