K-Tel’s final compilation release of 1982 saw them increase the number of tracks to 22. Now bursting at the seams, Street Scene found its way into the shops a few days before Christmas and stood out from the pack with its cool computer-generated sleeve art. Skyscrapers and speakers. Wham!, Dionne Warwick, Barry Manilow, A Flock Of Seagulls, Blue Zoo, Imagination, Renée and Renato, Japan were the eight chosen artists to have their names on the front cover. The reverse has the song titles on the triangular road and comes with the customary disclaimer about running times being amended. Always shorter.
Four tracks were also included on their rival Ronco’s Chart Wars, Renée and Renato – Save Your Love, Wham! – Young Guns (Go For It), A Flock Of Seagulls – Wishing (I Had A Photograph Of You) being three with Japan – Life In Tokyo albeit not in Special Remix form but a 2.58 edit. Please note this is a mix similar to the one that appears on A Souvenir from Japan and the Japanese Assemblage / UK double play cassette. The sleeve says it is remixed from the album Assemblage and the label states that it is a 1979 recording.
Heartbreaker became Dionne Warwick’s most successful hit of the 1980s. The song was written by Bee Gees’ brothers Gibb, with Barry’s backing vocal heard on the chorus. File under lush AOR soul. Another Barry next; Mr Manilow with the urbane and sexually-charged I Wanna Do It With You. Also on the disco radar were Gary’s Gang and Knock Me Out while Imagination’s Changes is blinding funk, all gorgeous synth bass. Next comes the horrendously sliced and diced Back On The Chain Gang (more than half gone) which makes way for John Cougar’s fist pumping Jack And Diane.
Twilight zone: Chris De Burgh’s menacing Don’t Pay The Ferryman is followed by The Searchers I Don’t Want To Be The One. This was last single to feature Mike Pender. The band had been re-signed by Pye under the latter’s new name of PRT and some tracks were recorded for a proposed album. However the single failed to sell so PRT shelved the album and ditched the group. A shame, because it’s a fine tune. And hyping their way into the top 10 are The Pinkees with the endearing Squeeze knock-off Danger Games. Elsewhere get yer blues with Shakin’ Stevens and the teary maudlin strum Give Me Your Heart Tonight.
It seems like both Ronco and K-Tel used the same edit of Wishing (If Had A Photograph Of You). However the policy of cutting tracks was soon to come to an end – see next week’s review. Moving on to the new wave sound of Blue Zoo. Cry Boy Cry is frantic stuff that reminds of Teardrop Explodes. Their debut 45 Love Moves In Strange Ways received Single Of The Week in the NME during 1981 and is featured on my upcoming mix A Gift From The Past: Shattered Dreams Revisited 1981 – 1995. Breaking the gloom of the Pornography era: The Cure’s bright ‘n’ poppy Let’s Go To Bed, marred by a clumsy cut.
The token exclusive number comes courtesy of The Convertables’ Here You Come Again. They don’t appear to have released anything else. Ever. A short and sharp synth shock. Horns: like honey on Bad Manners’ Samson and Delilah. Sax: killer break during Natasha’s version of Pata Pata. Quick step over Life In Tokyo to the Thompson Twins’ moody Lies. Medleys are not dead (yet) – The London Symphony Orchestra bash their way through Classic Rock Classics. Get Back / Baker Street / Ruby Tuesday / Don’t you want me (Baby) / Paint it Black / Layla / Reach I’ll be there / Standing in the Shadows of Love. Fade away with Modern Romance’s finest 45: The Best Years Of Our Lives. Sing it.
A Flock Of Seagulls – Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You)
Imagination – Changes
Blue Zoo – Cry Boy Cry
Lest we forget
The Pinkees – Danger Games
Happy New Year!
OK, then, here are my selections…:
Gary’s Gang – Knock Me Out
John Cougar – Jack & Diane
The Pinkees – Danger Games
Wham! – Bad Boys (Go For It!)
(I still can’t believe George Michael is dead. RIP. What a way to end a dreadful year. 😦 )
The Cure – Let’s Go to Bed
Thompson Twins (the third most famous fictional Belgians after Tintin and Poirot respectively) – Lies
And since you mentioned Dionne Warwick, Imaginations, Pretenders, Shaky, and Blue Zoo then I don’t have too. Quite a strong line-up on here, too.
Many happy returns Cosmo!
Yes – George Michael’s death was a tragic end to the year. I was gutted when I read the news. BTW – the Street Scene review was written before Christmas (I didn’t update it since).
Nice choices there too.
This is another one that doesn’t seem to turn up in charity / second hand shops very often.
There aren’t too many ‘unknowns’ here that I would be keen to listen to, though The Searchers song would be of interest I think,
A little bit more common that its immediate “rival” Chart Wars – in Ireland anyway.
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