Saturday, January 21, 2017
Various Artists - The Network Forty: Tune Up - Next 40 #23 (March 26, 1990)
Yesterday was "National DJ Day," so here's a post that's sort of related. This is a CD that was created for radio industry insiders, so DJs played these songs from this very disc at some point.
This particular CD is part of a series that was called "The Network Forty," and geared to Top 40 stations. It contained 18 potential hits, about half of which actually became hits. There was also a series like this called "The Album Network" that was designed for AOR radio.
Back in the '90s, I used to buy these discs for a buck each at a used record store. In the days before YouTube, it was a good way to hear pop hits (or misses) without having to shell out full price to buy. I remember having about a dozen of these, but this particular one from March 1990 seems to be the only one I kept. Oh well. If I hear from my ex, I'll check to see if any of these ended up in her collection, but my guess is that I sold the rest of them all back or just dumped them.
So why would anyone want to hear this stuff now when you can get it on YouTube? Well, besides being able to get a snapshot of a bygone era (something I always enjoy), these CDs had a lot of radio edits/mixes that weren't on albums.
To cite a few examples, the Cover Girls' boppy "All That Glitters Isn't Gold" runs 5:50 on their We Can't Can't Go Wrong CD, but 3:51 here. The Blue Nile's brooding (and brilliant) "The Downtown Lights" is 6:29 on their Hats album but is whittled down to 4:05 here. The songs by After 7, Electronic, and Beau Nasty are also edits.
Meanwhile, Beats International's "Dub Be Good To Me" (mistitled "Be Good To Me" on this CD) is featured in a mix I can't find anywhere else -- one that omits the "Guns of Brixton" bassline. D Mob's "That's the Way of the World" is the 7" single mix and not the more commonly-heard 12" mix.
Another amusing feature of these CD was the notes they contained from industry people who were, I assume, paid to push specific songs or bands (see right). This one has an unintentionally hilarious write-up on a song the writers claimed "leaps out and embraces you" and was "more than just another rock record." It turned out to Beau Nasty's "Paradise In The Sand," one of the more spectacular flops of its era. Who was Beau Nasty? Stay tuned. I may just have more on them soon.
1. Kylie Minogue - Tears On My Pillow
2. Damn Yankees - Coming Of Age
3. Joe Satriani - I Believe
4. The Blue Nile - The Downtown Lights
5. The Cover Girls - All That Glitters Isn't Gold
6. Beats International - Dub Be Good To Me
7. Electronic - Getting Away With It
8. After 7 - Ready Or Not
9. The 4 Of Us - Drag My Bad Name Down
10. Michael Monroe - Man With No Eyes
11. Tim Finn - Not Even Close
12. Shakespears Sister - Break My Heart (You Really)
13. Beau Nasty - Paradise In The Sand
14. Everything But the Girl - Driving
15. Timmy T - Time After Time
16. Tina Turner - Look Me In The Heart
17. Pretty Boy Floyd - I Wanna Be With You
18. D Mob - That's The Way of the World