Music Week's round-up of the latest album reissues and catalogue releases.
90s Loaded (Crimson TWIN 90002)
90s Moving On Up (TWIN 90005)
After great success with two volumes of 1970s 12-inch mixes and eight volumes of 1980s 12-inch mixes – all triple-CD sets with 30 or more tracks – Demon Music's budget Crimson imprint now focuses its attention on the 1990s. These are two of the first batch of five releases, all of which are available for around £5 or less – a stupendous price for what they are. Housed in slim digipacks, they may not have any frills but they are packed with hits. 90s Moving On Up is more on the pop than the credible side, with nevertheless excellent choices like The 49ers' Italo-house classic Touch Me, Faithless' epic Salva Mea and C&C Music Factory's brilliant Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) keeping company with the much rarer Stealth Sonic mix of Manic Street Preachers' Kevin Carter and Steps' maddening Abba clone Last Thing On My Mind. 90s Loaded is altogether cooler, with the Madchester magnificence of Stone Roses' Fools Gold, Glasgow icons Primal Scream's Loaded in its Terry Farley brilliance and Candy Flip's trippy version of The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever among the highlights.
Remixes And Rarities (Cherry Pop CRPOPD 191)
Bonnie Tyler's catalogue has been richly mined over the years with at least 34 prior compilations since 2000, most of them rehashes containing the same core repertoire. That being the case, it is nice to welcome something different, namely Remixes And Rarities, which does just what it says on the tin. Joining previous Cherry Pop releases of the same title from Paul Young, Bucks Fizz, A Flock Of Seagulls and The Thompson Twins, the album – a double, housing 33 tracks – includes songs previously issued only in South America and Japan, rare tracks from early 1990s albums produced and written by Modern Talking's Dieter Bohlen, dubs, alternate versions, singles mixes and extended 12-inch versions. So although we don't get the single edit of Tyler's most iconic hit Total Eclipse Of The Heart, we do get the full extended version of it. There's also specially extended and instrumental mixes of Holding Out For A Hero and a couple of lengthy versions of Tyler's remake of Freda Payne's chart-topper, Band Of Gold. Taken at a high-energy gallop, it sounds like an ill-advised exercise but is actually something of a triumph with Tyler's unique raspy growl set against a 1980s electronic backing with throbbing bass and pounding drums, and has some excellent backing vocalists swooping in to find pleasing counterpoints to the main melody.
Prince Of Power Pop: His Very Best (Big Beat CDWIKD 337)
His single Precious To Me was a major US hit, and Phil Seymour's name is well-known to collectors of power pop but wider recognition evaded him. However, his reputation has grown since his premature death at the age of 41 in 1993, and this collection of his finest work is long overdue. Seymour first tasted fame as a member of The Dwight Twilley Band, and later worked with Tom Petty but his solo work – propulsive, melodic songs with catchy choruses and irresistible beats – made him one of the prime exponents of power pop. His craft reached its peak on Precious To Me, a nagging, rousing, Beatlesesque tune that climbed to No.22 on the Billboard chart in 1981. It was a self-penned track from his excellent eponymous album which, along with the less successful 1982 follow-up Phil Seymour 2, was the source of much of what is contained here, though it is considerably enhanced by the addition of 11 previously unreleased recordings, taken from a 1980 session. Some are rawer but somehow more enjoyable versions of songs that appeared on those albums, others are well-chosen covers, including a version of The Supremes' hit You Can't Hurry Love, which takes it into the rock arena much more successfully than Phil Collins' version. A 20-page booklet provides all the annotation and illustration that is required for a set that will hopefully expand Seymour's audience.