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.
Pingback: Now That’s What I Call Music 24 (EMI / Virgin / Polygram, 1993) | A Pop Fan's Dream
Pingback: Hits ’93 – Volume 2 (Telstar / BMG, 1993) | A Pop Fan's Dream
Pingback: Hits ’93 – Volume 3 (Telstar / BMG, 1993) | A Pop Fan's Dream
Was wondering do you have any idea as to the date this was released?
I believe 20 February 1993 Martin.
Thanks for that helpful info Paul.
Hi Paul, stat alert and a thought. As you mention, this was released quite quickly in 1993. If it takes 3 weeks to get a compilation in the shops, this was ready by the end of January. Despite that, only 5 tracks on there were released in 1992, and relatively late on. Rapination, as an example, was a slow burner that charted at its best towards the end of its chart life. There were 3 tracks released a week after this would have been compiled. While too dance orientated, it’s no surprise that it hit the top of the compilation chart. 14 of the 18 tracks were in the top 75 3 weeks before release.
Move on to Hits 94 volume 1. Released a month later in the year than Hits 93 vol 1. 4 more tracks. 7 tracks were released in 1993. 12 of the 22 tracks were in the top 75 3 weeks before release.
Smash Hits 95 volume 1. Released the same week ast H94v1, same number of tracks. 9 were released in 1994. 11 tracks in the top 75 3 weeks before release.
Having the year of a compilation in the title can cause problems for early compilations in each year. Hits 93 should contain hits from 1993 and so on. Arguably the worst track on Smash Hits 95 v1 for this was Another Night, released in the autumn of 1994! Clearly there was a preference for any big hits they could get their hands on rather than making it more contemporary.
Dance Hits 94 volume 1 had 12 out of 21 tracks released in 1993. There was an album released by Virgin called Dance 95, which had 4 out of 20 tracks released in 1995!! Obviously there were no 1996 releases on Hits 96; definitely no 2000 releases on Dance Tip 2000!!
Maybe unintentionally, this is a benefit of a compilation series, such as the Nows. By not confining compilations to a specific year, none of the above matters. Otherwise, I feel that having a specific year as a title to a compilation, and then have tracks on it that are clearly outside of that, is a bit of a cheat.
That Hits 93 was impressively up to date. Agree re having a year – the forward looking approach was evident on Herb Alpert’s 1979 LP which had a track titled 1980. It was the first record my parents played on their new Phillips 3-in-1. Shop threw in a free copy.