“On heavenly rain, you fell into my life”.
Formel Eins’ winter compilation for 1988 – Top Hits Brand Neu – gets the ubiquitous Don’t Worry, Be Happy out of the way first thing. Sandra’s atmospheric PSB meets Alphaville Secret Land towers above it as epic synth grandeur while Jermaine Stewart’s Don’t Talk Dirty To Me is a fresh blast of extremely danceable R&B. This version seems to be a minute longer than the regular 7″ which, along with tracks 1, 2, 4, 7 and 9 can be found on Neue Hits ’89 – Die Internationalen Super Hits. After Orinico Flow, Deborah Sasson and MCL unleash the gorgeous electro meets opera (Carmen) Danger In Her Eyes.
Sitar alert! He Ain’t No Competition, Brother Beyond’s psychedelic follow-up to The Harder I Try, stormed the UK charts reaching #6. Nathan Moore’s funky dance moves in the video always gladden my heart. Edelweiss run into Mixed Emotions, a sort of futuristic Shakin’ Stevens while the ever-reliable Jennifer Rush knocks out yet another powerful ballad. The stars we are, the light that will never cease to fail: Marc Almond’s evergreen Tears Run Rings deserved a lot more than its #26 in October 1988. An overlooked gem.
Out come the big guns, two that shone on The Hits Album 9. There’s Kim Wilde’s utterly brilliant Never Trust A Stranger. A storming epic of endless possibilities which is followed by Yazz’s defiant Stand Up For Your Love Rights. And Breathe’s Hands To Heaven: a quality slow jam for teenage crushes in the Crosbie Motor Hotel. Meanwhile Johnny Clegg and Savuka remind me of a sketch from Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge – the unfunny Joe Beazley and Cheeky Monkey. Take My Heart Away and the next track, Robbie Nevil’s Back On Holiday, are earnest yet aimless fluff. The closing number is Erasure’s powerful plea for dignity A Little Respect. “Soul, I hear you calling”.
Brother Beyond – He Ain’t No Competition
Marc Almond – Tears Run Rings
Lest we forget
Deborah Sasson and MCL – (Carmen) Danger In Her Eyes