SMASH HITS single reviews for the fortnight beginning 18th June 1985

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Strong line-up!

https://i.imgur.com/BbFfyE1.jpg

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Tears for Fears - Head Over Heels 17
Fine Young Cannibals - Johnny Come Home 13
Bruce Springsteen - I'm On Fire 5
Van Halen - Hot for Teacher 4
10,000 Maniacs - Can't Ignore the Train 3
Lone Justice - Ways to be Wicked 2
ABC - Vanity Kills 2
David Grant - Where our Love Begins 1
Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick etc. Remixed by Paul Hardcastle 1
The Big Sound Authority - A Bad Town 1
Men at Work - Everything I Need 0
Miles Davis - Time After Time 0
Feargal Sharkey - Loving You 0
Phil Oakey & Giorgio Moroder - Goodbye Bad Times 0
Marilyn - Pray for That Sunshine 0
Paul Young - Tomb of Memories 0
Howard Jones - Life In One Day 0
Sting - If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free 0
Simply Red - Money's Too Tight to Mention 0


Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 21:53 (two weeks ago) link

Smas Hits... damn.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 21:54 (two weeks ago) link

If any mod is reading and fancies adding the H to Smas, that would be appreciated.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 22:00 (two weeks ago) link

"For mas get Smas"

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Saturday, 5 June 2021 22:04 (two weeks ago) link

haha

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 22:04 (two weeks ago) link

Surprised how few of these I know or remember, but I'd be even more surprised if any of them were better than Johnny Come Home.

building a hole (NickB), Saturday, 5 June 2021 22:13 (two weeks ago) link

Is Head over Heels too played out at this point?

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 23:14 (two weeks ago) link

No.

Wait, Money's Too Tight is a cover? Huh.

enochroot, Saturday, 5 June 2021 23:24 (two weeks ago) link

I don't think it is either, or rather I do and then I listen to it again. It's definitely the songs with the biggest cultural impact of all of these. Huge, in fact.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 23:26 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W-2AK2zLZE

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 23:27 (two weeks ago) link

Is there a thread for big acts with long careers whose first hit was a cover?

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 23:28 (two weeks ago) link

I've only heard the Van Halen, Miles and Blockheads from this... tempted to vote for Miles because it's a good trivia night gotcha question.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Saturday, 5 June 2021 23:29 (two weeks ago) link

You haven't heard Head Over Heels or Johnny Come Home?

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 23:31 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks for the spelling correction, kindly moderator.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 23:35 (two weeks ago) link

You haven't heard Head Over Heels or Johnny Come Home?

Ohhhh, yeah totally I've heard Head Over Heels but I didn't think that was the name (I've only heard it as background music, never listened to it).

Johnny Come Home I have not.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Saturday, 5 June 2021 23:42 (two weeks ago) link

It's between those two, for me.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 5 June 2021 23:45 (two weeks ago) link

If we're voting for the reviews, it's between Van Halen and FYC.

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Sunday, 6 June 2021 00:00 (two weeks ago) link

yes, lol.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Sunday, 6 June 2021 00:04 (two weeks ago) link

I'm On Fire is an amazing song impeded by its production. A better version of it would be the best track here.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Sunday, 6 June 2021 00:12 (two weeks ago) link

yup, "I'm On Fire" in the style of "Nebraska" would rule.

FYC FTW.

stirmonster, Sunday, 6 June 2021 00:45 (two weeks ago) link

Precisely! re IOF.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Sunday, 6 June 2021 00:57 (two weeks ago) link

I actually think it sounds like that in my head. Then I listen to the track.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Sunday, 6 June 2021 00:59 (two weeks ago) link

Can't say "Can't Ignore the Train" ever brought to mind Talking Heads or Blondie, but it's one of a mere handful of 10,000 Maniacs tracks I really like. Plus I'm drawn to underdogs in these things, so...

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Sunday, 6 June 2021 02:45 (two weeks ago) link

I love how this video is so weirdly frantic and unrehearsed but they do one synchronised move in it, very briefly. I had also forgotten about the guitarist's crazy leg dancing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H5Se-9XAVE

Heavy Messages (jed_), Sunday, 6 June 2021 15:33 (two weeks ago) link

How weird it is that the guitarist and bass player from the Beat went on to so much more commercial success than the two front men. Well, in the UK at least, if not globally? Also, I'm sure everyone has already had this thought before, but it only just occurred to me that Johnny Come Home kind of works as an answer song to Smalltown Boy. Might even be in the same key and same bpm?

building a hole (NickB), Sunday, 6 June 2021 17:12 (two weeks ago) link

I bought six of these in 1985: Simply Red (ex-jukebox bargain bin), Lone Justice / Moroder & Oakey / Feargal Sharkey / Miles Davis (all in the heavily discounted new release bargain bin) / Fine Young Cannibals (full price, on 12"). I was hoovering them up by the bucketload back then.

mike t-diva, Sunday, 6 June 2021 17:27 (two weeks ago) link

Head Over Heels

edited for dog profanity (cryptosicko), Sunday, 6 June 2021 18:44 (two weeks ago) link

i've always associated Johnny Come Home with Smalltown Boy too.

And the two members of FYC who weren't Roland Gift of course went on to have (possibly) the first ever UK originated House record top 20 hit.

stirmonster, Sunday, 6 June 2021 20:46 (two weeks ago) link

Good point! They must've had one of the first UK rap top 20s too - they wrote and produced Monie Love's 'It's A Shame'. What earlier UK rap hits were there?

building a hole (NickB), Sunday, 6 June 2021 20:53 (two weeks ago) link

They were just narrowly beaten to it by Krush "House Arrest", Beatmasters/Cookie Crew "Rok Da House" and Jack 'N' Chill "The Jack That House Built", but it was close. (You could perhaps argue for Mel & Kim "Showing Out" or MARRS "Pump Up The Volume", but they're both a bit borderline.)

mike t-diva, Sunday, 6 June 2021 20:58 (two weeks ago) link

House Arrest by Krush was released the previous year and got to #3, one of the people responsible for it was Mark Brydon, earlier of Chakk, later of Moloko.

xp rats, beaten to it!

A viking of frowns, (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:00 (two weeks ago) link

Re UK rap top 20 hits, Derek B might well have been the first, with "Goodgroove" and "Bad Young Brother" in the first half of 1988.

mike t-diva, Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:01 (two weeks ago) link

what was the track we're talking about?

Heavy Messages (jed_), Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:08 (two weeks ago) link

Ah, that'd be right! only other things i can think of is embarrassing shit like Stutter Rap xp

building a hole (NickB), Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:09 (two weeks ago) link

what was the track we're talking about?

David Steele and Andy Cox from FYC / The Beat were also the people behind 2 Men, A Drum Machine & A Trumpet - Tired of Getting Pushed Around

building a hole (NickB), Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:11 (two weeks ago) link

what the heck kind of music is 'Johnny Come Home' anyway, musicologically speaking?

building a hole (NickB), Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:14 (two weeks ago) link

80s pop

Mark G, Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:16 (two weeks ago) link

xp The ex-FYC house track was Two Men A Drum
Machine And A Trumpet “I’m Tired Of Getting Pushed Around”.

(This is currently my specialist subject as I’m in the middle of publishing the 1988 James Hamilton Record Mirror columns/charts at https://jameshamiltonsdiscopage.com )

mike t-diva, Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:16 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks Mike and Nick.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:20 (two weeks ago) link

They were just narrowly beaten to it by Krush "House Arrest", Beatmasters/Cookie Crew "Rok Da House" and Jack 'N' Chill "The Jack That House Built", but it was close. (You could perhaps argue for Mel & Kim "Showing Out" or MARRS "Pump Up The Volume", but they're both a bit borderline.)

Cheers! i bought all of those at the time, except for Krush, but hazy now on what came out when. The borderline ones (Mel & Kim "Showing Out" & MARRS "Pump Up The Volume") are the ones that have (by far) aged the best.

stirmonster, Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:27 (two weeks ago) link

...although i still dig "Rok Da House".

stirmonster, Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:28 (two weeks ago) link

Was just looking up David Steele on Discogs and it says he was also in a Scottish psychobilly band called Dead Neighbours. When he left, he got replaced by Will Heggie from the Cocteau Twins and the band became Lowlife. I mean wtf? Is that really the same David Steele?

building a hole (NickB), Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:33 (two weeks ago) link

sounds like a discogs error. could it be??

stirmonster, Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:39 (two weeks ago) link

i think this is my favourite post FYC thing he was involved in -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7c45E0OZ_Y

stirmonster, Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:42 (two weeks ago) link

yeah i'm looking at the cover of their album and it doesn't look like him at all, even though the amazon blurb says it is:

https://www.amazon.de/-/en/DEAD-NEIGHBOURS/dp/B005F4CLN0

shame really, that would be an excellent bit of trivia if true xp

building a hole (NickB), Sunday, 6 June 2021 21:45 (two weeks ago) link

I had never heard the Dury remix before today. Slight, but fun.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Monday, 7 June 2021 18:15 (two weeks ago) link

Almost impossible to choose between Head Over Heels and Johnny Come Home. (And fwiw I also bought Showing Out, Pump Up The Volume, House Arrest and Rok Da House as a teenager)

Nasty, Brutish & Short, Monday, 7 June 2021 21:08 (two weeks ago) link

We’re voting for the song, not the review, right?

Alba, Monday, 7 June 2021 23:58 (two weeks ago) link

I voted for the review bcz that was the title of the poll

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 00:06 (two weeks ago) link

but I think jed means the songs

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 00:07 (two weeks ago) link

lol "hot for teacher" is "kind of a heavy metal benny hill" otm, and that's one of the reasons why i love it so

the mai tai quinn (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 00:10 (two weeks ago) link

I voted for the review bcz that was the title of the poll

― bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic),

Yeah that's what i thought to do as well

Fauna Sukkot (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 00:27 (two weeks ago) link

This was an exceptionally strong week for singles, I must say

Fauna Sukkot (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 00:32 (two weeks ago) link

Er, fortnight

Fauna Sukkot (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 00:32 (two weeks ago) link

Would be a fun thing to listen to every single that came out in 1985, week by week.

I did that with movies a few years ago, when one of my favorite cinemas shut down. I was talking to the owner, and he showed me a newpaper ad for the opening day in 1983 and we both agreed that it was an amazing lineup. I persuaded him to show those movies on the last night, and he was really into the idea and told me to get the DVD's together. He backed out at the last minute, but by then I had every movie that came out in the first half of June, 1983 on DVD and it was this crazy immersive thing, like, why not do July next?

Fauna Sukkot (Deflatormouse), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 00:38 (two weeks ago) link

Well, here's a thing. Since January 1982, I had been compiling a weekly personal chart, but on this exact day - 18th June 1985 - they came to an end. I was about to graduate from university, and I was also just about to move in with my boyfriend of two months' standing (who became my life partner; we're still together), so there must have been an element of "putting away childish things", but 1985 wasn't exactly a golden year for new music, so enthusiasm must have been waning anyway.

Anyhow, here is that final personal chart from 18th June 1985 in full. Oddly, it's a top 34.

01 (05) Unexpected Lovers - Lime
02 (04) The Lady Don't Mind - Talking Heads
03 (10) Axel F - Harold Faltermeyer
04 (NE) No Cure, No Pay - Working Week
05 (re) Vicious Games - Yello
06 (11) 19 - Paul Hardcastle
07 (02) Walking On Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves
08 (NE) Stop Making Sense (LP) - Talking Heads
09 (13) Duel - Propaganda
10 (03) Ways To be Wicked - Lone Justice
11 (NE) Rise Up (For My Love) - Yvonne Kay
12 (07) The Word Girl - Scritto Politti
13 (01) Body Rock/Peter Slaghuis Remix - Maria Vidal
14 (NE) Paisley Park - Prince
15 (12) You're My Heart, You're My Soul - Modern Talking
16 (NE) Cccan't You See (Re-mixxx) - Vicious Pink
17 (re) Bad Habits - Jenny Burton
18 (20) Dangerous - Natalie Cole
19 (16) Walls Come Tumbling Down - Style Council
20 (08) Oh Yeah! - Bill Withers
21 (15) Sally Maclennane - The Pogues
22 (09) Wicki Wacky House Party - The Team
23 (30) Shake The Disease - Depeche Mode
24 (17) The Perfect Kiss - New Order
25 (NE) Fan The Flame - Barbara Pennington
26 (23) Sweet Nothing - Working Week
27 (15) Obsession - Animotion
28 (22) History - Mai Tai
29 (06) Let Me Feel It - Samantha Gilles
30 (18) Johnny Come Home - Fine Young Cannibals
31 (39) Money Moves - Barrington Levy
32 (28) Sex Machine - James Brown
33 (NE) That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - The Smiths
34 (21) Time After Time - Miles Davis

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 10:20 (two weeks ago) link

im no bossologist but really surprised to read criticism of ‘i’m on fire’ production, have always thought that was a perfect sounding record

anyway, ‘head over heels’

lemmy incaution (emsworth), Tuesday, 8 June 2021 11:34 (two weeks ago) link

"heavy metal Benny Hill"

andrew m., Tuesday, 8 June 2021 13:49 (two weeks ago) link

Having just played through all the tracks, I'd say that Maureen Rice did a decent job with these reviews; there's little to take issue with here. As this was Simply Red's first release, her optimism was justified at this stage. It's a good cover of a great song, and the acceptable face of the "soulcialism" that was so big in 1985, as was "Johnny Come Home" (Big Sound Authority's lame effort being at the other end of the spectrum). The praise for Maria McKee's vocals on the Lone Justice is a tad hyperbolic, but the track holds up well as a good example of the jangly "new authenticity" wave of US bands that were breaking through (boosted by the enthusiasm of Hepworth & Ellen on Whistle Test). The review of Feargal Sharkey's "Loving You" is particularly on point, while the weakest review for me is for Van Halen's surprisingly thrilling "Hot For Teacher", which I've never knowingly heard before and would have crossed the street to avoid in 1985 - those arresting Burundi-style drums at the start really should have got a mention. So if we're voting for best review, it's Sharkey, but my favourite track remains "Johnny Come Home".

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 13:55 (two weeks ago) link

Sting - If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free: If the Police had one more album in them, this would've been perfect. There's like two more singles from Sting's first solo LP that would have been good Police tracks - not a fan of the rest.

I didn't realize "Ways to Be Wicked" was a flop...#77? It feels too conservative to be representative of their talents, but it's highly enjoyable, meat-and-potatoes stuff. I would've thought top ten easy, but it was probably a really bad sign that it didn't even break into the top 40.

I love that Springsteen track - it seems amazing something that short and low-key can be a top ten hit, but then again he was "as big as Coca-Cola" by that point. (I remember reading that somewhere and it struck me as a perfect description of Bruce's gigantic, mainstream popularity in the mid-'80s.)

I didn't realize FYC was that "old." It makes sense given how old the (English) Beat were but "She Drives Me Crazy" seemed like another generation later.

birdistheword, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 14:33 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 14 June 2021 00:01 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 15 June 2021 00:01 (one week ago) link

Smash Hits was excellent wasn't it? I know people say the 80s was the peak and reading this I'm inclined to believe so, but even the 90s version I grew up with was better than most other magazines I read at the time.

On Youtube there are a good few recordings of the Poll Winners Parties from late 80s/early 90s, they've cheered me up a lot during lockdown.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 15 June 2021 09:03 (one week ago) link

Would be a fun thing to listen to every single that came out in 1985, week by week.

Pretty sure Marcello Carlin has done this and written about it, somewhere.

mahb, Tuesday, 15 June 2021 09:18 (one week ago) link

I'm On Fire is an amazing song impeded by its production. A better version of it would be the best track here.

― Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, June 5, 2021 8:12 PM (one week ago) bookmarkflaglink

yup, "I'm On Fire" in the style of "Nebraska" would rule.

FYC FTW.

― stirmonster, Saturday, June 5, 2021

waht

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 15 June 2021 10:06 (one week ago) link

Nebraska in the style of Tunnel of Love would be Springsteen's best album.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 15 June 2021 10:06 (one week ago) link

smash hits was absolutely my number one source of music news when i was in my early teens and going through a bit of a goth phase. used to cut out every picture of the cure, the cult and the banshees and stick them on my wall. getting this sticker was an absolute highpoint though:

https://i.ibb.co/yh2kX5K/Capture.jpg

disraeli grinds my gears (NickB), Tuesday, 15 June 2021 10:16 (one week ago) link

brix with a fag in her hand

disraeli grinds my gears (NickB), Tuesday, 15 June 2021 10:17 (one week ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.