K-Tel’s latest two-for-the-price-of-one effort was a pair of LPs named Chart Beat and Chart Heat. They were released on the same day as Ronco’s Breakout and featured 34 songs. 12 of these (six Beat, six Heat) were also included on Breakout. But K-Tel had the advantage when it came to full length single mixes as their albums only had eight or nine tracks per side compared to Ronco’s 11. So fewer early fades and unique edits.
Overlap and truncation detail for 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’s vital statistics: 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.
Chart Beat starts with a sprinkle of magic. The Kids From Fame’s Hi Fidelity. The TV series had a great video but came with a mono mix of the song. The UK single release was a stereo mix with extra vocals. It’s got a beautiful charm that hasn’t diminished. And then it’s Madness with the ultra-catchy Driving In My Car, a standalone single after Complete. Fun Boy Three appear in its video and also feature here with their atmospheric cover of Summmertime. The bouncing My Girl Lollipop from Bad Manners is a brilliantly joyous rendition with a killer sax. Plus: the lovely Natasha with the funked-up Boom Boom Room.
Love Hangover, a most interesting new wave take on a disco classic from The Associates. It’s followed by the loping funk of Kid Creole and The Coconuts, I’m A Wonderful Thing. In The Heat Of The Night was Imagination’s second LP, the hypnotic Music And Lights reached the top 5. More gold, the energetic synth clatter of Mr Blunt by Kissing The Pink. They’re still active. To wrap us up, we go back to the classics with Louis Clark and the enigmatic If You Knew Sousa (And Friends). I knew a Sousa, a raver fan of Guru Josh.
Chart Heat: Bow Wow Wow’s rather perfunctory I Want Candy doesn’t hold a candle to anything from their 1981 output. Toyah’s Ieya is a poppier reworking of a 1980 45, almost a chant – plenty of interesting background here. Next: John Cougar Mellencamp’s earthy Hurts So Bad followed by the low-key disco vibe of David Christie’s Saddle Up. Elsewhere there’s the totally uneventful Substitute, a risible entry from The 3 Courgettes. Equally dire is Showaddywaddy’s turgid Bomp. It’s at times like these when less would have been more.
Movin’ on up: the sweet sound of Charlene’s hedonistic but polarising I’ve Never Been To Me, originally a 1977 flop. Leo Sayer’s brooding Heart (Stop Beating In Time), written by the brothers Gibb. More understated regrets, Liquid Gold’s bittersweet Where Did We Go Wrong and Doreen Chanter’s regretful I Can Dream. Difficult follow-up single: Nicole’s Give Me More Time. Last group standing, fellow Eurovision champions Bucks Fizz drop a tearful masterpiece, the moving Now Those Days Are Gone. Perfect harmonies.
Imagination – Music And Lights
Kissing The Pink – Mr Blunt
Charlene – I’ve Never Been To Me
Bucks Fizz – Now Those Days Are Gone
Lest we forget
The Kids From Fame – Hi Fidelity