The first Hits album for 1994 contains 22 tracks, just like Hits ’93 – Volume 3. As a result a number of tracks are edited which makes for an unsatisfying listening experience.
We start on the bright side with D:Ream’s positivity anthem Things Can Only Get Better. I prefer the unconnected Howard Jones song of the same name. To promote Greatest Hits 1980 – 1994, Aretha Franklin covers Clivilles and Cole’s A Deeper Love. It also appears in Sister Act 2. After a truncated Come Baby Come we get M People’s fantastically slinky take on 80s Motown classic Don’t Look Any Further. The R&B vibe continues with E.Y.C. and their likeable move-buster The Way You Work It. Then it’s the LP mix of Bjork’s love/hate Big Time Sensuality before those subtle Belgians 2 Unlimited bring the noise with the airborne techno of Let The Beat Control Your Body. The funkiness of you.
Haddaway shows his sensitive side on the gorgeous I Miss You. A great pity that it’s cut by 23 seconds. Also trimmed are Shara Nelson’s razor-sharp Uptight and Suede’s sprawling standalone glam epic Stay Together [a further edit of the drastically-reduced 7″ version]. Thankfully Tori Amos’ story of cereal mutilation, Cornflake Girl, is present in its taut 3:54 single mix. The upcoming Now That’s What I Call Music 27 would feature the longer Under The Pink LP take. Back from hell: Meat Loaf reissued Bat Out Of Hell and it climbed to #8 in the UK. The 4:53 radio edit is very welcome. FGTH collectors rejoice: a new Two Tribes! Actually the compilers have decided to fade We Don’t Want To Die about 40 seconds too early in a crude hack-job. Shame none of the 1993 remixes made the CD.
Fatal extraction: Take That’s Babe crowned a most successful year. It knocked Mr Blobby off the #1 spot before the tables were turned for Christmas. The remaining eight tracks are all edited: there’s SWV’s yearning Jill swing of Downtown and Lisa Stansfield’s Little Bit Of Heaven [not enough!]. Next comes Level 42’s storming Forever Now and Bitty McLean’s mournful Here I Stand. Junior Boys Own take Fire Island’s disco juice There But For The Grace Of God and make it massive. Equally hypnotic is Jam and Spoon’s Right In The Night. But love will save the day: last dances for Nilsson’s reissued story of sorrow Without You and Whitney ‘n’ Bobby’s heartfelt Something In Common.
M People – Don’t Look Any Further (M-People Master Mix)
Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
Bjork – Big Time Sensuality
Lest we forget
Take That – Babe (Return Remix)
Missing tracks and other thoughts
The worst thing about this one is definitely the track editing. 12 songs go under the knife. A far, far better thing would have been to cut the numbers to 18 or 19. Such poor decisions were common for the Hits franchise during the second wave. Other candidates:
Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting – All For Love. The three tenors.
Barry Manilow – Could It Be Magic 1993. Disco juice.
The The – That Was The Day. From the Disinfected EP
Cypress Hill – Insane In The Brain. Classic Féile moment later on in the summer.