Saturday, 27 November 2010

Spandau Ballet - To Cut A Long Story Short, 30 years this month

30 years ago (can it really be so?) this was Spandau's first hit. Number 5 in the charts and still sounds (and looks) great!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Jackie: The Party Album

The Jackie brand is still amazingly potent long after the girls’ magazine to which it referred ceased publication. As I’ve said before, I was a regular writer for Jackie back in the ‘80s and so I guess I may feel some kind of personal connection with the various Jackie-branded books and CDs that are still being launched in the 2000s...

The latest, released today, is a three CD collection called Jackie The Party Album. This contains a wide-ranging selection of hits, mainly from the ‘70s and ‘80s with occasional forays into the ‘60s, encompassing everything from ABBA to Black Sabbath. I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever been to a party where both those particular artists have been played and nor, to be entirely honest, am I entire sure that Black Sabbath’s Paranoid is the obvious choice of music to pack the party dance-floor. Anyhow, that gives you some idea of the scope of this collection.

The sheer diversity of the songs is both the strength and the weakness of this set of CDs. As you listen through them there will be some tracks that will surely make you think, with plesaure, “Wow! I haven’t heard that one for a long time!” and others that will make you think, “Eeek! I was hoping I’d never hear that one again.” Personally, I have to admit that I’ve made frequent use of the Next Track button to skip over some teeth-gritting songs (I really could have done without David Bowie’s Laughing Gnome).

There are some definite party classics here: Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit In The Sky, Jeff Beck’s Hi Ho Silver Lining, Little Eva’s Locomotion; plus some Glam Greats: T. Rex’s Children Of The Revolution, Wizzard’s See My Baby Jive, Sweet’s Blockbuster; and some nice tacky pop classics such as Middle Of the Road’s Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum and Baccara’s immortal Yes Sir, I Can Boogie.

There is, in short, something for everyone; though bear in mind that there is also pretty sure to be something that just about everyone really doesn’t want to hear too!