Telstar crashed the Christmas compilation market in mid-November with the release of Super Chart ’83, a BOGOF containing 30 tracks. However there was an inevitable sense of familiarity with this one – 21 or 70% of its songs had already featured on previous Various Artists albums of the year. In particular, Volume 1 was particularly uninspired with just one “new” hit. Here’s where they made their first appearances:
Chart Wars: Eddy Grant – I Don’t Wanna Dance.
Hotline: Men At Work – Down Under, Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out.
Chart Runners: Forrest – Rock The Boat.
Chart Encounters Of The Hit Kind: Toto – Africa.
Chart Stars: The Beat – Can’t Get Used To Losing You, Galaxy featuring Phil Fearon – Dancing Tight.
Hits On Fire: Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Freeez – IOU, Flash and The Pan – Waiting For A Train, Tom Robinson – War Baby.
Headline Hits: Yazoo – Nobody’s Diary, Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home), KC and The Sunshine Band – Give It Up.
Chart Hits ’83: Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Ryan Paris – Dolce Vita, F.R. David – Words, Gary Byrd and The GB Experience – The Crown, Herbie Hancock – Rockit, Will Powers – Kissing With Confidence, Black Lace – Superman.
“Eins, zwei, drei, vier
Fünf, sechs, sieben, acht
Ichi, ni, san, chi
Adjin, dva, tri
Li, tva, tr” (Kraftwerk – Numbers)
Telstar marketed Super Chart ’83 as “The Greatest Hits Album Of The Year.” It was compiled in association with CBS, RCA, Carrere, Sonet / Mute, Arista, Island / Ensign and Beggars Banquet. Highest chart positions are disclosed:
#1 – Five
#2 – Three
#3 – Four
#4 – Four
#5 – One
#6 – Four
#7 – Four
#8 – Four
And there’s more: One track is marked as a new release while the remaining six “are still rising in the charts as we print.” – triangle symbol. And Bad Manners with the insanely energetic Can Can. 1981 I hear you say. Well, Telstar have a get out clause – “released and achieved highest chart position before 1983.” I’m pleased to say that the leftfield choices on the second half more than justify the outlay.
“The time is too short
But never too long
To reach ahead
To project the image
Which will in time
Become a concrete dream” (Wire – The Lowdown)
Boxerbeat was the opening salvo from JoBoxers who opened for Madness on The Rise And Fall tour. Their look was drawn from The Little Rascals – knickers, suspenders, caps – and made them look like extras from a 1930s film. While their roots were in Subway Sect, Vic Godard had been cut loose and replaced by Dig Wayne. The result was snappy soul-boy pop. Following Eddy Grant at the beginning of Volume 2 was Bob Marley and The Wailers’ posthumous Buffalo Soldier. Legend. The title and lyrics refer to the black U.S. cavalry regimentsthat fought in the Indian Wars after 1866. NB – next comes The Crown which loses a minute of its lengthy running time, just 9:17 despite being noted as the 12″ version.
Meanwhile Nick Heyward sails under the radar with the deceptively lightweight Blue Hat For A Blue Day, a 60s inspired gem released 20 years too late. Also taking its cue from the swinging decade was The Alarm’s rousing 68 Guns, inspired by Glasgow street gangs of the era. Still gorgeous, The Lotus Eaters and their positively blooming You Don’t Need Someone New. To the youth of today – the Musical ones – and their sublime Never Gonna Give You Up. First seen (by me) on Jim’ll Fix It. Saturday evenings. Obscurity knocks for Debbie Aimee (the new release, a Blondie knock-off) and one which has sunk without trace. Finally, a new one from Depeshay Mode, the slinky synth lounge of Love In Itself.
“Another big hit, another nothing short of driving a rusty meathook through David Gahan’s malformed cranium will prevent it.” (Geoff Barton, Sounds, 24 September 1983)
JoBoxers – Boxerbeat
The Alarm – 68 Guns
Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out
Nick Heyward – Blue Hat For A Blue Day
Lest we forget
The Lotus Eaters – You Don’t Need Someone New