It was the start of the summer. Telstar decided to steal a march on the upcoming Now That’s What I Call Music 31 by releasing the follow up to Smash Hits ’95 – Volume 1. Smash Hits 2 came loaded with “21 fresh new funky hits”. History repeating: once again there are questionable early fades and short edits. Despite this, it’s a blast.
Boom! Boom! Boom! (Don’t Break My Balls Radio Mix) by The Outhere Brothers gets us into the groove. Three minutes of inane chanting. Much better is the late Scatman John’s stutterers’ anthem Scatman, turning his biggest problem into his biggest asset. Never forget his good humour; all together now – Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop. Clock’s catchy Whoomph! is the longer Time Gents Please! mix. UCD bar nightmares. Next comes the fractured electronica of The Human League’s Filling Up With Heaven. This version sounds like the shorter video take; you’ll remember the digital smudge effect. Or not.
Electribal memories are reignited by the appearance of Billie Ray Martin’s Your Loving Arms while Livin’ Joy’s Dreamer hits the heights after a polished remix. Wake Up Boo! You know the drill. Forever associated with cramming for my finals. Love To Infinity’s supremely positive Keep Love Together is followed by Pizzaman [Norman Cook again] low budget Brighton house killer Sex On The Streets. Elsewhere the Real McCoy breaks free on the brooding Love And Devotion while Bobby Brown enlists K-Klass to remix Two Can Play That Game into something approaching danceability.
Stuck in the middle: Perez Prado’s uptempo mambo version of the Neapolitan song Guaglione was used to promote Guinness in an advertisement known as Anticipation. Two characters: a patron of an unidentified pub and the barman. A pint of Guinness is ordered and, while waiting for it to be poured, the customer carries out a series of quirky dancing movements with the settling pint in the foreground. “No time like Guinness time”.
Dance this mess around: you get the Happy Clampers’ I Believe followed by Grace’s euphoric Not Over Yet and Corona’s sleeping giant Baby Baby. Then Cleo and Marcus get busy on the speedy trance of I’ve Got The Music In Me. Slow down real smooth with PJ and Duncan AKA on the adorable Girlfriend. An odd choice seeing as it’s just a Psyche album track. A song for Europe: Love City Groove’s self-titled debut represented the United Kingdom in Eurovision 1995. Nice urban groove but no Secret Garden. Hello darling, it’s Tippa Irie. The Brixton reggae singer joins up with Fever for Staying Alive ’95.
1-2-3: Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins really captured something special on A Girl Like You. A real northern soul vibe; some said it sounds like David Bowie or Iggy Pop [I am thinking of Trance Europe Express] while the guitar playing could be the the dude from the Isley Brothers. Finally it’s Oasis. The Gallagher brothers’ rolling stone continues to gather moss and they have their first number one with the epochal Some Might Say. A record bettered by two of its B-sides, Talk Tonight and Acquiesce. Sunshine follows.
Scatman John – Scatman
Human League – Filling Up With Heaven
Pizzaman – Sex On The Streets (Radio Edit)
Lest we forget
Perez Prado – Guaglione