The Hit Squad’s Hits Of ’83 Volumes 1 and 2 (Ronco, 1983)

Hits Of '83 V1.jpg

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Hits Of '83 V2.jpg

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Review
Ronco’s Hit Squad returned again in November 1983 with the two volume Hits Of ’83. In an unusual move, just 24 tracks are featured – six per side which allows for full single versions and maximum fidelity. Inevitably, a total of 19 had already turned up on other compilations. Here’s where they made their first appearances:
Hotline: Men At Work – Down Under, Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out, Thompson Twins – Love On Your Side.
Chart Runners: Tracey Ullman – Breakaway, U2 – New Year’s Day, Forrest – Rock The Boat, Belle Stars – Sign Of The Times.
Chart Encounters Of The Hit Kind: Madness – Tomorrow’s Just Another Day, Toto – Africa.
Chart Stars: The Beat – Can’t Get Used To Losing You, Fun Boy Three – Our Lips Are Sealed, Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon – Dancing Tight.
Hits On Fire: The Funkmasters – It’s Over.
Headline Hits: Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home). Yazoo – Nobody’s Diary, KC and The Sunshine Band – Give It Up.
Chart Hits ’83: Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart, David Grant – Watching You, Watching Me, Herbie Hancock – Rockit.

Breakaway was written by Jackie DeShannon and Sharon Sheeley during 1964 and was originally made famous by Irma Thomas. Tracey Ullman’s cover (her debut 45) comes with bundles of charm and an endearing, fun-filled promo video.
“Wednesday, Thursday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,”
Madness and the wonderfully downbeat Tomorrow’s Just Another Day. A slight remix of the version on The Rise And Fall; just a bunch of friends having a ball. The pure pop of the Bite era leads us to the shimmering pop single Don’t Talk To Me About Love. Altered Images were growing up fast, a total cracker.

Moving on, Wah! The Story Of The Blues; washed in reverb and nostalgia for the entire decade, an anthem seeping with Liverpool DNA. Meanwhile Tracie Young, a Paul Weller protégée and backing singer on Beat Surrender cut her first solo material with the swirling blast of The House That Jack Built. Her backing band, The Questions released Tuesday Sunshine in 1984, mod sophisti-pop classic. Check out A Gift From The Past. Elsewhere we get the swinging High Life from Modern Romance. And to close out the set, the massive duet from An Officer And A Gentlemen – Up Where We Belong – sung sung blue by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. An endless run in the Ritz cinema beckoned.

Favourite tracks
U2 – New Year’s Day

Wah! – The Story Of The Blues

Madness – Tomorrow’s Just Another Day

Lest we forget
Tracie – The House That Jack Built

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6 Responses to The Hit Squad’s Hits Of ’83 Volumes 1 and 2 (Ronco, 1983)

  1. Feel the Quality says:

    The Story of the Blues is one of my favourite 80s songs, it’s a masterpiece imo. I remember buying Fantastic 80s 2 and was pleasantly surprised to see it on there. That was a great series with some decent spin-offs too, Fantastic 70s and the excellent Fantastic Dance.

    • nlgbbbblth says:

      Agree, top tune and one that’s not lost its power – nor is too familiar as it rarely gets aired. Enjoyed the Fantastic series – helped raise interest in the 80s revival at the time (1998 – coinciding with ABC / Human League / Culture Club tour)

  2. andynoax says:

    You forgot that ‘Breakaway’ had already been compiled – it was included on Chart Runners!

    Not a bad selection here, but I think that this is one that I considered for Christmas list but rejected because of the rather stingy 6 tracks per side policy!

  3. cosmo says:

    Agree with the assesments of “The Story of the Blues”… in fact, with Madness and Tracie. As well as…

    Altered Images – Don’t Talk to Me About Love

    The Funkmasters (feat. Juliet Roberts) – It’s Over (Another one I own on 45!)

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