Ariola released Super 20 Hit Sensation in October 1984. Once again, the ostrich Willi is on the case and it’s a nice complement to Super Hit Sensation. The CD version is a tough pull and if it wasn’t for some unusual edits, would sit well alongside such company as High Life International, High Life International 2 and Hot And New. Many of the tracks are familiar from RTE Radio 2’s European chart that was aired on Saturdays while some of the video versions were played on MT USA, a three hour extravaganza that dominated Irish Sunday afternoons from 1984 to 1987. Presented by the late “Fab” Vinnie [Vincent Hanley].
We start with a unique edit of Ray Parker Jr’s Ghostbusters which runs for one minute less than the regular 7″. It’s followed by Sandy Morton’s dreamy People From Ibiza, the 2:50 Edit A which is 50 seconds shorter than my European 45. Evelyn Thomas’ Masquerade is a straight port of the version on Super Hit Sensation while Billy Idol’s brooding Flesh For Fantasy is one of his most enigmatic creations. Earnestly digging the holiday vibe are Mike Oldfield with Maggie Reilly’s beautiful vocals on the windswept To France. And in a shocking twist, Malcolm McLaren’s Madam Butterfly drifts in, just 3:40 [like the Canadian promo 7″]. There’s no beating the full horror though. See Now That’s What I Call Music 4.
Two more clipped 45s are Alvin Stardust’s sentimental I Feel Like Buddy Holly and Huey Lewis driving Heart Of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Thankfully intact is Savage Progress’ quirky jerkfest Heart Begin To Beat which is followed by the languid but sublime Talking Loud And Clear from Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. Kling Klang meets pop. 10,000 light years away are Boney M with the samba rock of Kalimba De Luna. The bizarre Disco Band [complete with coughing] remains Scotch’s signature song while Al Corley’s smooth new wave of Square Rooms went all the way to the top in France. Meanwhile the movie Voyage Of The Rock Aliens gives us Jermaine Jackson and Pia Zadora’s truncated honeyed duet When The Rain Begins To Fall where less really is more.
Italo time: Modern Talking go all emotional on the tortured love twister You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul. Lament for Ultravox on the decidedly weird Heart Of The Country. Japan meets Breaking Glass. There’s a total contrast with the next song, Audrey Landers’ exotic Honeymoon In Thailand which is in turn followed by Ricchi E Poveri’s stylish ballad Cosa Sei. Elsewhere Boney M return for a second bite – the irritatingly upbeat Happy Song – which sees Frank Farian seeking assistance from Bobby Farrell and The School Rebels. We end with some underrated synth pop West German-style: The Twins sounding very like Depeche Mode on the catchy Game Of Chance. Unfortunately it’s another early fade.
“The grabbing hands grab all they can,
All for themselves after all.”
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Talking Loud And Clear
Billy Idol – Flesh For Fantasy
Mike Oldfield – To France
Lest we forget
Savage Progress – Heart Begin To Beat