The first entry in the Maxi Power series, Hot Stuff From Ibiza was released by Polystar in autumn 1986. The double LP included 16 tracks so CD buyers had to live without extended cuts of Joan Armatrading’s Kind Words (And A Real Good Heart), EG Daily’s Say It Say It, Alisha’s Boys Will Be Boys and Peter Allen’s I Go To Rio. A big shout out to the photographer – amazing beach and nightclub shots. Welcome to the Ibiza Zoo.
Animotion’s underrated I Engineer (Remix) opens the proceedings. A driving synth beat with a classic 80s vocal make for a memorable experience. Next is an interesting one: a 5:20 edit of Janet Jackson’s extended mix of What Have You Done For Me Lately? Don’t think this taut version is available anywhere else. Before the Bakerman, Laid Back had Cocaine Cool [listed here as C.C. Cool] – a meandering track from Play It Straight. Also in 1986 a medley named Propaganda For Frankie (P4F) was released by the West German ZYX record label, mixing a re-recording of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax with Propaganda’s P-Machinery. An Italo soundalike mash-up extraordinaire.
We get the tropical new wave of Trio Rio and New York-Rio-Tokyo while Hubert Kah’s Limousine is here in its German 12″ as opposed to the more well-known US cut. The final instrumental section is excellent before the positive desperation of the vocal drifts back in. Elsewhere Level 42’s own extended version of their massive hit Lessons In Love remains on their most sought-after remixes; its the Shep Pettibone 12″ that’s played everywhere. Hot on the trail is JM Silk’s jacking house groove Shadows Of Your Love.
“So, boy where you go, what you do,
Hey there boy what is wrong with you?
No future, no hope, just broken dreams,
You spend your days wondering why”.
Discomania with The Communards; the mantra-magnificent Disenchanted with its sweet piano. To my ears this sounds like the longer take that’s on the original CD release of the debut album. Then there’s an obscure reggae interlude from Sista Spliff [Street Baby] before the majestic No Promises from Icehouse. A song to cruise to; hood up on the night drive. When the sun goes down, cities reveal their true personalities, bombarding you with the throbbing glow of distraction or the subtle, quiet pulse of sleep. The car allows you to observe all this from a mobile, objective fishbowl, immersed but not involved with a sublime soundtrack.
Postscript: Kissing The Pink’s oblique pop of One Step. Evocative dance.
Icehouse – No Promises (Extended Mix)
Level 42 – Lessons In Love (Extended Version)
Lest we forget
P4F – Propaganda For Frankie