A Jamboree Of Surprises (part four)


The fourth disc of this project is home to some of the bigger names in pop and rock; in fact, most of the selections here started out as part of a “lesser 80s hits by rock royalty” playlist which I was intending to turn into a full CD’s worth of music.

It seemed a good idea; think of flop singles by Queen, Bowie, Elton, Rod, Clapton, McCartney, Jagger and so on, but once I began creating the “Forgotten Eighties” set in earnest (and off the cuff, as I listened to the tracks), new possibilities would keep coming into my mind and ultimately only a handful of those songs made the final running order.

A Jamboree Of Surprises: The Forgotten Eighties [CD4]

  1. Mothers Talk [7″ Version] Tears For Fears 3:55
  2. Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me) XTC 3:39
  3. It’s Different For Girls Joe Jackson 3:42
  4. Listen To The Radio: Atmospherics Tom Robinson 3:44
  5. Kool In The Kaftan B.A. Robertson 3:33
  6. Skin Deep The Stranglers 3:53
  7. Leave It Yes 4:15
  8. Let’s Go All The Way [7″ Edit] Sly Fox 3:48
  9. Berserker Gary Numan 4:09
  10. I Ran [Edit] A Flock Of Seagulls 3:42
  11. Diamond Lights Glenn & Chris 3:35
  12. Scandal Queen 4:45
  13. Edge Of Darkness [Theme] Eric Clapton 3:22
  14. This Is Not America David Bowie 3:51
  15. Soul Train [Edit] Swans Way 3:14
  16. Dazzle Siouxsie & The Banshees 5:30
  17. No More “I Love You’s” The Lover Speaks 4:04
  18. The Last Film Kissing The Pink 3:27
  19. Never Take Me Alive Spear Of Destiny 4:16
  20. Tug Of War [Single Edit] Paul McCartney 4:07


Overall, it’s a pretty heavy-sounding bunch….some Post-Punk, some New-Wave, and then the “flop rock royalty” that I mentioned earlier. The middle section is taken up with some seriously dodgy haircuts (Hoddle & Waddle next to A Flock Of Seagulls? I wonder why), before a closing run from Swans Way to Spear Of Destiny which has a certain cavernous majesty (we’re dangerously close to “shimmering shards of sepulchral….” territory here, I admit). Ahem.

Dazzle belatedly provided me with a title for this project, and the twenty tracks are a mix of some fairly high-charting singles at the time (a #2, a #5, and a few Top 20 hits among them), artists/songs that get written out of ’80s music history these days (Tom Robinson, BA Robertson), and tracks that tend to be ignored in favour of the bigger/famous hits (Joe Jackson, Yes, Tears For Fears). There is also the least-remembered Queen single of the decade, thanks to being omitted from Greatest Hits II even though it made #25. And then I thought it would be fun to follow it with probably the least-known Eric Clapton single (although in 1985/86 it got rave reviews and helped Michael Kamen get noticed for his soundtrack work).

Paul McCartney had two notable chart failures in the 1980s, so it was between the bizarre Pretty Little Head (from Press To Play, 1986) and the title cut from 1982’s Tug Of War album. The need for some levity after the double whammy of The Last Film and Never Take Me Alive saw the latter get the nod, as well as its vaguely military vibe (a recurring Macca trope, from Let ‘Em In to C’mon People) fitting the mood of its two predecessors on the disc.


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