The second wave of the Hits series began in February 1993. BMG had originally come on board with CBS and WEA for The Hits Album 6 in 1987 and now decided to revive the brand with Telstar. The decision was made to put out single disc compilations with four volumes being released during the year.
Return of the madman: Snap’s majestic Exterminate sets the scene with its beautiful electronic shakuhaji flutes (aka the Enigma). West End featuring Sybil update Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes’ The Love I Lost for the 1990s; a muscular rework for this love classic. 2 Unlimited’s hammer that knocks the nail is No Limit. Very relentless. Start Chopin: back to the 70s as Take That tackle Could It Be Magic, previously made famous by Barry Manilow and Donna Summer. Style. Annie Lennox’s solo juggernaut continues with the remarkable Love Song For A Vampire which plays over the end credits of Francis Ford Coppola’s film Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If if ain’t broke. . . Undercover continue to mine the 1970s and set Gallagher and Lyle’s I Wanna Stay With You to a house beat.
M People: The remix of How Can I Love You More [originally released in 1991] saw them reach #8 in the UK chart. A mid-tempo soul groove that still resonates today. Also still fresh is the hypnotic Open Your Mind from Usura while Arrested Development’s thoughtful Mr Wendal is a laid back slice of righteous hip hop. Fall advance: Moodswings consisted of James FT Hood and the ludicrously-named Grant Showbiz. They scored a minor hit with Spiritual High (State Of Independence). Chrissie Hynde on vocals and the track also featured in Single White Female. The beats stay chilled with Lisa Stansfield’s Someday (I’m Coming Back) before bouncing forward on The Shamen’s melancholic techno of Phorever People complete with video filmed at the World Trade Centre.
Rapination and Kym Mazelle’s Love Me The Right Way is a beautiful doved-up peach of a tune with a deadly video. And rave memories are made of New Emotion, The Time Frequency’s pulsating club smash with Mary Kiani’s sweet vocal. From Cork to Portrush, London to Glasgow. Less fondly recalled are the WWF Superstars’ obnoxious Slam Jam and Nick Haverson’s clumsy rock’n’roll Head Over Heels. Things improve with Tom Jones’ surprisingly decent cover of All You Need Is Love [spot the One sample] while Go West close with their heartfelt version of Bobby Caldwell’s What You Won’t Do For Love.
Annie Lennox – Love Song For A Vampire
The Time Frequency – New Emotion
Lest we forget
Moodswings – Spiritual High (State Of Independence)
Missing tracks and other thoughts
There was no doubt – the Now team had the won the war. However the return of the Hits series was a welcome one and while it’s hard to see them as direct competitors, this first volume is an enjoyable ride. Marks are lost for the rather uneven last 15 minutes and some sloppy track indexing while a couple of major omissions are:
Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You. #1 for what seemed like ages.
Kylie Minogue – Celebration. Cool cover.