K-Tel’s Turbo Trax was released at the same time as Ronco’s Overload. Despite the two labels being rivals, there are 10 common tracks: Tight Fit – Fantasy Island, Kim Wilde – View From A Bridge, Roxy Music – More Than This, Hot Chocolate – Girl Crazy, Goombay Dance Band – Seven Tears, Bardo – One Step Further, Altered Images – See Those Eyes, Yazoo – Only You, Depeche Mode – The Meaning Of Love, Nicole – A Little Peace. At the time, the Ronco LP represented more bang for buck and certainly has the edge (in terms of sleeve design and overall musical standard). I propose concentrating on the “new” songs.
Madness released House Of Fun in mid-May 1982. Within days, most of the pupils in my school were singing it. Those of us lucky enough to afford new albums got to hear it a few weeks beforehand – as it was included on the Complete Madness compilation LP. The promotional video’s chemist scenes are now iconic which means that viewing them again unleashes a torrential wave of (mostly) happy youthful and carefree memories. After Tight Fit comes the cool jazz funk sound of Shakatak’s Night Birds. NB: there’s a fantastic cover version of this on Top Of The Pops 91 – the worst selling volume in the entire series.
Iko Iko is a much-covered New Orleans song that tells of a parade collision between two tribes of Mardi Gras Indians. Natasha brought it to Top Of The Pops in 1982 wearing her famous white ra-ra skirt. Many fantasies were had by teenage boys that night. Meanwhile Got No Brains was a flop for Bad Manners. Still sounds great – unlike the undercooked rock sound of Matchbox’s One More Saturday Night. More like one too many. Steadying the course are pop stalwarts Bucks Fizz with the superslick My Camera Never Lies.
“You can keep the Costa Brava” means only one thing – the seaside symphony of Chas & Dave extolling Margate’s virtues. We were in Courtown Harbour for a second holiday that August. Burning up the dancefloor in the Sands hotel was Candi Staton’s Suspicious Minds while under the radar were the Rah Band and their massive spacey jam Perfumed Garden. An enchanting jazzy tip. Lastly a curio, Prelude’s acappella take on Neil Young’s After The Gold Rush. Originally a hit in 1974 but re-recorded eight years later. Apocalypse now.
Madness – House Of Fun
Natasha – Iko Iko
Bucks Fizz – My Camera Never Lies
Lest we forget
Rah Band – Perfumed Garden