Smash Hits ’95 – Volume 1 (Telstar, 1995)

Smash Hits 95 V1

Smash Hits 95 V1 r

Review
The Smash Hits franchise changed direction in 1995. Instead of an end-of-year round-up, Telstar decided on an early spring release. Smash Hits ’95 – Volume 1 was the result; a 22 track single CD brought to you by the UK’s biggest selling music magazine. The volume reference was a sure sign that more instalments would follow. Once again, it’s a decent collection but let down by excessive cramming; 18 fully intact single mixes would have sufficed instead of a some random early fades and a unique butchering of Whatever.

“Where did you come from?”

Get on up: Perfecto Allstarz, under the watchful eye of Paul Oakenfold, hit the top 10 with Reach Up (Papa’s Got A Brand New Big Bag). 14 seconds are lopped off the already tight radio edit. Rednex make the first of two appearances with the inexplicably popular Cotton Eye Joe while N-Trance’s Set You Free and the Human League’s sublime return Tell Me When are both short-changed. Thankfully M People’s Bizarre Fruit leader, Sight For Sore Eyes, is intact with a glorious chord progression and an infectious Moog bass line. Also present and correct is PJ and Duncan AKA’s inane Our Radio Rocks while indie Kylie strikes gold again on the almost trip hop Put Yourself In My Place. Deconstructed bliss.

“Where did you go?”

Aaliyah’s third 45, the relaxed R&B of Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number is gorgeous. It’s cut short though. Strike’s handbag smash U Sure Do nicks from Donna Allen’s Serious and doesn’t outstay its welcome. MC Sar and The Real McCoy’s Another Night loses 30 seconds – check out Now That’s What I Call Music 29 for all this and more. Meanwhile Nicki French takes on Total Eclipse Of The Heart under the supervision of Stock and Aitken with mixed results. The garish Rednex drop the horrendous Old Pop In An Oak. Moving on, Oz strikes back as the factory worker turned country singer on Crocodile Shoes. It’s extremely likeable stuff from Jimmy Nail and brings back memories of watching the television series in my student days. Elsewhere Scarlet does it a different way on the incredibly 80s-sounding dramatic showstopper Independent Love Song.

“This is the Zagamuffin calling planet Earth”

And now time for a soundalike – Kamakazi taking off Ini Kamoze’s Here Comes The Hotstepper – followed by R Kelly’s relentless Bump ‘N’ Grind. Clock polish off Harold Faltermeyer’s Axel F in one trance induced swoop. Never mind the zagabongs, here’s Zig and Zag. In full effect on the brutal nitro deluxe ragga Them Girls Them Girls. And a Top Of The Pops appearance introduced by Gary Glitter. There’s a big up to the jungle massive on Soundman and Don Lloydie’s scattershot drum and bass tune Greater Love with a super Elisabeth Troy vocal. Down to the wire; all guitars to the floor for the last 10 minutes. There’s Oasis’ standalone Whatever, bizarrely faded after 3:42 – why oh why – and followed by Green Day’s frantic punk thrash of Basket Case. Slide away with Suede’s drenched-in-glam New Generation in rare 3:50 radio edit form. Britpop at its best.

Favourite tracks
Suede – New Generation

Zig and Zag – Them Girls Them Girls (Radio Mix)

Jimmy Nail – Crocodile Shoes

Lest we forget
Soundman and Don Lloydie with Elisabeth Troy – Greater Love

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12 Responses to Smash Hits ’95 – Volume 1 (Telstar, 1995)

  1. nlgbbbblth says:

    Some might say that Tell Me When is a direct port of the video mix.

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  5. Ben Cook says:

    Did you notice this has a special edit of Cotton Eye Joe? It’s the one that was played by Radio 1 at the time – the instrumental bits have a slightly different sound, and there’s cows mooing. It has never been released commercially other than on here I think!

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      I didn’t! Wasn’t paying too much attention – but nice to know there’s a unique edit.

      • Andrew Chinnock says:

        Telstar used the same version on Dance Mania 95 vol 1. It is actually the single version as released on cd. All the other versions (around 3:10) , which I guess is the version that more people know, are an alternative version. Having read your other comments about ‘Cotton Eye Joe’ (sick bag!), I’m very surprised you never bought the single lol!!!

        • nlgbbbblth says:

          Cheers Andrew – interesting to read the version I knew and hated πŸ™‚ is an alternative choice……

          • Andrew Chinnock says:

            Hi Paul, I have another conundrum to ponder regarding your favourite track. Dance Mania 95 vol 1 and Energy Rush K9 were released on Feb 6th 1995. Dance Mania used the single version, Energy Rush used an alternative edit (for want of a better word). This alternative version (your hated version πŸ˜‰ ) was also used on Dance 95, released Feb 13th and on On A Dance Tip, released Feb 20th and almost certainly taken from Energy Rush K9. The proper single version was only ever used on Dance Mania, Smash Hits 95 vol 1, Greatest Hits of 95 and Dance Nation 95 by Vision (lots of that was taken from Dance Mania 95).

            How would Telstar have been able to use the single version, yet all other companies used the alternative version? I can’t say I was a regular radio listener at the time so have no idea which version generally graced the airwaves. A check on Discogs suggests the single version was used everywhere, however, on the single, the Original instrumental has the solo violin parts as heard on the alternative version, not the parts on the single version.

            There’s no sign of the 3:10 version ever being released as a cd single, so did Rednex or their record company produce this radio edit, then decided to add a different violin solo bit (which is out of tune as we know)? If so, how did Telstar use the single version, yet everyone else used the 3:10 edit which was never released on single? Would the record company have sent out different masters and mixed things up?

            All very odd. Who would have thought Cotton Eye Joe could have been so interesting and controversial?

            • nlgbbbblth says:

              Hi Andrew – that is master level analysis! Has to be a master mix up given the closely timed release schedules. My memory of this aural hell is vivid with solo violin parts but that may have been via MTV which flatmate was playing.

              • Andrew Chinnock says:

                I presume so. I didn’t notice Ben Cook’s remark that the single edit was the one used on the radio, so the master mix up must be it. The great “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” was an example of this, where the lead singer did a take to take the piss out of his brother who had a speech impediment. Somehow those vocals made the final cut.

                The out of tune nature of the violin solo in the single edit was dreadful. Ruined the track. I imagine they intended to use the version on all the compilations where it’s in tune but there was a cock up.

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