Telstar retained the sleeve design of The Greatest Hits Of 1993 for their 1994 edition. Once again, the story of the year consists of 40 tracks including five number ones.
New Year’s Eve 1993: Nightclubs swayed to the sound of Dina Carroll’s The Perfect Year. Its release at the beginning of December was a welcome surprise; a non-album single after six smash hits from the So Close LP. Next comes an edited Longsy D mix of China Black’s Searching. Check out Now That’s What I Call Music 1994 for the proper Mykaell S Riley remix. The easy tempo continues with Celine Dion’s shrill overhaul of Jennifer Rush’s Power Of Love, Red Dragon’s sly skank Compliments On Your Kiss and Take That’s wry Babe. Then Tony Di Bart does his best Shed Seven impersonation on The Real Thing while Kylie loads up on strings with her masterpiece Confide In Me. And it’s back to 1994’s early spring for Wendy Moten’s widescreen soul-stopper Come In Out Of The Rain.
The remainder of CD1 is a zip through well-worn territory. R Kelly’s playful She’s Got That Vibe, Aswad’s sun-soaked Shine and a fabulous cover of 80s classic Don’t Look Any Further by M People. Roll with the reggae vibes on Bitty McLean’s Dedicated To The One I Love, Ace Of Base’s Don’t Turn Around, CJ Lewis’ Everything Is Alright and Reel 2 Real’s jerky Go On Move. So much energy, so much dancing. To Walthamstow and the guvnors of East 17; It’s Alright blasting as the barman try to clear the pub. After the super-loose K7, PJ and Duncan AKA unveil their feelgood freestyle with the unforgettable Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble. Beats watching The Adam and Joe Show. The disc ends with two massive dance anthems: Club House’s euphoric Light My Fire and Gloworm’s redemptive Carry Me Home. The latter always makes me think of Burt Lancaster in The Swimmer.
CD2 kicks off with a biggie – D:Ream’s pounding Things Can Only Get Better. Would love to hear Doves cover it. Corona’s life-affirming Rhythm Of The Night follows in its wake; the zenith of Euro dance. Now we’re sucking diesel. It’s Maxx and the energetic silliness of Get-A-Way. Followed by Anything – a musical argument to a dance beat; a special version adapted from Culture Beat’s Serenity album. Keep on moving with Cappella’s vital idol dance stance Move On Baby and 2 Unlimited’s driller killer Let The Beat Control Your Body. Wind it down for Haddaway’s gorgeous I Miss You; it’s the 3:14 edit though – you need Now That’s What I Call Music 1994 for the full 7″ mix. Back to the grind with The Prodigy’s searing rave twister No Good (Start The Dance) and M Beat’s Incredible jungle.
The Grid’s Swamp Thing proves that banjo can be a force for good. The Pet Shop Boys act out Absolutely Fabulous – the Disco 2 era. Fellow synth heroes Erasure got Heaven 17’s Martyn Ware to produce the floaty Always. Time for a brief guitar sequence starting with Stiltskin’s smashing grunge number Inside. Then it’s time for a slightly truncated Live Forever from Oasis. Not the radio edit either. Also slightly trimmed is Suede’s Stay Together; an epic bridge between Suede and Dog Man Star. Primal Scream’s Rocks stomp and The Pretenders spiritual I’ll Stand By You blending into Deep Forest’s haunting Sweet Lullaby. And we end with two of the year’s most irritating hits: The BC52s prehistoric old wave (Meet) The Flintstones and Doop’s loopy tribute to the Charleston dance.
Dina Carroll – The Perfect Year
Erasure – Always
Culture Beat – Anything
Cappella – Move On Baby (Definite Edit)
Suede – Stay Together
Lest we forget
Wendy Moten – Come In Out Of The Rain
Missing tracks and other thoughts
A solid look at the year’s chart action which tries to cover all bases. Some suggestions:
Beck – Loser. All over MTV.
Mariah Carey – Without You. One of her strongest.
Bruce Springsteen – Philadelphia. Probably an unrealistic want but we can dream.