Breakout (Ronco, 1982)


Breakout r.jpg

Going back to school in September 1982 coincided with the release of Ronco’s Breakout. It came in a memorable sleeve, a fierce tiger bursting through a brick wall with the caption “22 roaring great hits”. Almost inevitably it led with Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger, number one for four weeks and on radio stations everywhere. The theme song for Rocky III; but the film was yet to open in Irish cinemas – 22 October was the arrival date for us. The Ritz cinema on opening weekend was packed to capacity for both the afternoon and evening screenings. Additional seats were placed in the downstairs section; hard-backed wooden chairs from our local youth centre. We watched in discomfort, enthralled.

Breakout is a natural successor to Overload and focuses on the summer’s chart action. 22 tracks included here too. Yazoo’s second single, Don’t Go, a synth tour-de-force hits #3 in the UK and #1 on the US dance chart. Still burning up discos 34 years on. The Belle Stars (ex-Bodysnatchers) took Shirley Ellis’ The Clapping Song and turned it into something much more irreverent, cashing in on the condom buzz already started by Madness in the House Of Fun video. “Now she won’t buy me – a rubber johnny”. Well that’s what we sang in the school yards anyway. Next comes Japan’s slick and urbane cover of I Second That Emotion and surprise(!) another good Tight Fit tune, the plaintive singalong Secret Heart.

Controversy continues on John Wayne Is Big Leggy from Haysi Fantayzee. Political satire meets sexual humour via a nursery rhyme delivery. Another USA icon, John McEnroe, gets satirised in The Brat’s Chalk Dust. Roger Kitter is the spoofer, Mac’s antics still in the memory despite his defeat by Jimmy Connors in that year’s final. As I write this, I’ve just re-lived the Top Of The Pops appearance on BBC4. The bar remains low for both Alvin Stardust and Rocky Sharpe and The Replays. Cheap Trick arrest the slide with the earnest If You Want My Love. A long way from He’s A Whore. Side 1 concludes with Blondie’s swansong, the electronic avant garde brilliance of War Child. Next stop: Maria.

Melody disco time: Boys Town Gang – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. Then Hot Chocolate and the sublime grooves of It Started With A Kiss. Stuck in the middle is I Eat Cannibals from Toto Coelo, a one hit wonder new wave group, masterminded by producer Barry Blue. Shades of Adam Ant and Bow Wow Wow. Very catchy. And King Trigger’s The River, with its pummeling drum sound. Then, a parting of the virtual seas for Wavelength’s tearjerking ballad Hurry Home – a melancholic memory. Likewise Depeche Mode’s brooding Leave In Silence, another super 45. The Julien Temple video is an acquired taste.

I forgot to mention that Breakout came with a free poster. It’s massive. Designed by Shoot The Tiger. Minder was in full swing during 1982 so The Firm dropped their tribute Arthur Daley (‘E’s Alright) full of catchphrases galore. Plus some nifty disco funk from Maxine Singleton, Don’t You Love It. I don’t love the truncation. Unfortunately with 22 tunes crammed into 67 minutes, quite a few are faded early. Load up on sugar, Prelude’s saccharine version of Only The Lonely is neatly juxtaposed with the throaty sound of the Psychedelic Furs’ stirring Love My Way. The closing number is a competently played cover of Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White courtesy of Modern Romance. Cha Cha and out.

Favourite tracks
Haysi Fantayzee – John Wayne Is Big Leggy

Toto Coelo – I Eat Cannibals

Depeche Mode – Leave In Silence

Lest we forget
Wavelength – Hurry Home

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12 Responses to Breakout (Ronco, 1982)

  1. andynoax says:

    Another one that I’ve never seen a copy of…

    Some good non-hits here again, I quite like the Tight Fit one too and ‘Love My Way’ is magnificent. Not sure I’ve heard Maxine Singleton though – at first, I misread that as Valerie Singleton for some reason!!

    As for the actual hits, a good selection though like most I’d gladly never hear ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ again. The 2 novelty hits don’t turn up on any other compo, do they? So probably worth having this one if I can find it.

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  7. Martin Davis says:

    My parents used to have the LP of Break Out and I listened to it a lot when I was younger. My parents also have fond memories of it.

    I also have Chart Heat/Chart Beat and am all too aware of the fact there are a number of overlapping tracks. One notable difference is the version of “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” on Breakout fades earlier than it does on Chart Heat/Chart Beat but can’t recall if any of the other overlapping tracks differ in length.

    Do you have any idea how the overlapping tracks differ between the two compilations?

    Have never seen Chalk Dust compiled on any other compilation and am pretty sure Hurry Home has only been made available on a CD compilation in the last few years (one of the 100 hits affairs).

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Hi Martin – the info is covered in the Chart Beat / Chart Heat review – the detail for the overlapping tracks versus the Breakout equivalents are as follows:
      Chart Beat
      Japan’s I Second That Emotion is basically the same; Steve Nye’s remix for 1982.
      Belle Stars – The Clapping Song gains 8 seconds,
      Modern Romance featuring John Du Prez – Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White (+30),
      Yazoo – Don’t Go (+12),
      Blondie – War Child (+45),
      The Firm – Arthur Daley (+20).

      Chart Heat
      Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger (+10),
      King Trigger – The River (+60),
      Rocky Sharpe and The Replays – Clap Your Hands is unchanged,
      Hot Chocolate – It Started With A Kiss (-11 !),
      Alvin Stardust – I Want You Back In My Life (+27).
      Finally Tight Fit’s surprisingly good Secret Heart is the same length as on Breakout.

      Hurry Home has been comped a few times on CD – as you say, on love / ballad type compilations. Chalk Dust is still AWOL.

      • Martin Davis says:

        Am really sorry but have only just seen your response. Thanks for taking the time to provide me with this information.

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