A Jamboree Of Surprises (part five)


It took a while, in fact I almost forgot (as it were) to complete this project, but thanks in part to Paul at A Pop Fan’s Dream, the fifth and final disc of the set was created from the 40 or so potential candidates I had left in my Forgotten Eighties iTunes playlist.

The task did feel a bit daunting; where to find a theme or vibe to latch onto, amongst so many songs? But once I hit upon Paul Simon > Shaking The Tree > Robbie Robertson > Cowboy Junkies, it began to fall into place….

A Jamboree Of Surprises: The Forgotten Eighties [CD5]

  1. The Boy In The Bubble Paul Simon 3:59
  2. Shaking The Tree Youssou N’Dour & Peter Gabriel 5:40
  3. Somewhere Down The Crazy River Robbie Robertson 4:58
  4. Blue Moon Revisited (Song For Elvis) Cowboy Junkies 4:28
  5. Magic Smile Rosie Vela 4:26
  6. Minnie The Moocher [7″ Version] Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra 3:33
  7. Veronica Elvis Costello 3:09
  8. Keeping The Dream Alive Freiheit 4:14
  9. I Don’t Mind At All Bourgeois Tagg 2:36
  10. The Promise You Made Cock Robin 3:51
  11. Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone) Glass Tiger 4:08
  12. Comin’ On Strong Broken English 3:53
  13. Let My People Go-Go The Rainmakers 3:38
  14. The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades Timbuk 3 3:24
  15. Missionary Man [7″ Mix] Eurythmics 3:50
  16. King Of Emotion Big Country 4:54
  17. Lost In You [Fade] Rod Stewart 4:25
  18. Ace Of Hearts Chris Rea 4:30
  19. Cold As Christmas (In The Middle Of The Year) Elton John 4:22


The oddity that was Minnie The Moocher helps bridge between the jazzy Magic Smile and the eccentric retro chamber pop of Veronica. That Costello gem takes us through more cod-Beatles brilliance with a track I adored at the time (I Don’t Mind At All) and one that I really should have adored at the time (Keeping The Dream Alive) had I not been experiencing the winter from hell in 1988, and not really felt disposed to music with an upbeat message.

American hits by bands with odd names come next (what else to do with Cock Robin and Glass Tiger?), and then it’s a home run for that slightly rootsy harmonica rock/pop which was briefly fashionable until Chris and Elton wind everything down with some quality balladry…each a song from their repertoire that doesn’t get as much credit as it should. They are also a legacy of the “flop rock royalty” concept I mentioned in the previous post.

The version of Ace Of Hearts on here is the lesser-spotted original from 1984’s Wired To The Moon album, although the re-recording found on 1988’s New Light Through Old Windows is arguably superior. Cold As Christmas – issued as the final UK single from the hugely successful Too Low For Zero LP in late 1983, presumably down to the word Christmas in the title(!), is one of the key songs on the record, an intelligent and evocative portrait of marital dysfunction and the fruitless attempts to salvage something via temporary separation. One of Taupin’s best.

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