Smash Hits 2 (Telstar, 1995)

Smash Hits 2

Smash Hits 2 r

Review
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.

Favourite tracks
Scatman John – Scatman

Human League – Filling Up With Heaven

Pizzaman – Sex On The Streets (Radio Edit)

Lest we forget
Perez Prado – Guaglione

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13 Responses to Smash Hits 2 (Telstar, 1995)

  1. cosmo says:

    One of the most active production/remix teams of those years have their very own Top 40 (#39, ouch) hit with Keep Love Together. Truly fas stuf, that – one that’s guaranteed to lift anybody’s spirits.

    At least for me, anyway.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      I didn’t realise it only scraped in; seemed popular on Irish radio for a brief period in that summer…. positiva central. Around the time of my short-lived flirtation with menthol cigarettes.

  2. Pingback: Smash Hits 3 (Telstar, 1995) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  3. Pingback: Now That’s What I Call Music 1995: The Millennium Series (EMI / Virgin / Universal, 1999) | A Pop Fan's Dream

  4. Martin Davis says:

    One compilation album I’m totally unfamiliar with so I can’t thank you enough for this review.

    Out of interest are you familiar with a compilation called 100% Summer 95? Presumably was released around the same time as this compilation and includes a few of the same tracks. Do you have any idea which of the two got released first?

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Hi Martin, you’re very welcome. 100% Summer is another Telstar release. Came out about one month after this one. They were released annually between 1994 and 1998. The first one also had a vinyl release.

      • Martin Davis says:

        Once again thanks for your response. I seem to recall the back of the 1994 one stating it was also available on album and cassette but the 1995 one only saying cassette.

        Also gone feeling the 1996-1998 ones were double albums whilst 1994 and 1995 were singles. Think 1996 also included a couple of tracks that had been present on the 1995 volume.

  5. Andrew Chinnock says:

    Hi Paul, Just a quickie. There’s an error on the Cleo & Marcus track on the inlay, mistakenly listing it as the Pyramix 7″ UK Radio Edit. Having just picked up a copy of this on cd single, the version Telstar used was the Stinx Mix. I think that is the better version anyway. I perhaps should have guessed that from the Discogs timings, but Telstar and editing are friends with each other. No idea why Telstar added UK Radio Edit when the remix is just called Pyramix 7″.

    Wasn’t there a similar cockup on Now 28 (and probably 1994) with Searching by China Black, where Longsy’s remix was used but it was listed as the most well known version?

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Hi Andrew – thanks for the info. Telstar eh?
      Correct re China Black – AFAIK Now 28 and 10th Anniversary 1994 have the Original Longsy D Mix while Now Dance 94 and Millennium 1994 have the Mykaell S. Riley Mix

  6. Andrew Chinnock says:

    Hi Paul, another quickie on here. 6 early fades on here, yet Telstar choose to include the extended version of ‘Whoomph! (There It Is)’ and a PJ and Duncan album track never released as a single. The mind boggles…..

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Cheers Andrew – that PJ & Duncan one is odd – not even a promo single?

      • Andrew Chinnock says:

        Not that I’m aware of. A remix of it featured on their Christmas release that year. Stuck On U was released a month after this, so I guess it’s safe to say Girlfriend wasn’t planned as a single. It was clearly a filler taken from their debut album, which I did own at one brief point as a purchase at gunpoint from Britannia. Maybe a tactic to make people think it was a new single? Telstar were, of course, the licencees for their stuff.

        Anyway, can I nominate a barely heard of track to replace it – Talizman’s Only You? There’s already one that missed out on the top 75 on here, so another won’t make much difference. I’ve only recently discovered the track, but found friends of mine who’ve known it for years and put it in their favourite of all time.

        • nlgbbbblth says:

          Unless they were going down the Hits / Indie Top 20 route of including B-Sides. It’s not like the Abbaesque EP where each of the four tracks could legitimately be called “the lead track” and all were compiled at the time.
          Now 22 – Take A Chance On Me
          Now Dance ’92 – Voulez Vous
          Smash Hits ’92 – SOS
          The Brit Awards 1992 – Lay All Your Love On Me

          Talizman is long buried memory! Gonna play again now

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