The 80s was the decade of the 12 inch. In the UK, all previous instalments of this series sold extremely well and received widespread critical acclaim. The Guardian called the series a "genuine act of music archaeology". From the pop dance genius of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax and Donna Summer's I Feel Love through to the more alternative Lullaby by The Cure, and onto classics such as Teardrops by Womack & Womack… This 3CD compilation has it all, in its full 12" glory.
The 60s girl group sound – whether teen pop, deep soul or rock’n’roll, East Coast or West Coast, solo or group – was driven by a hunger for hits that spawned an excess of truly excellent material, whose quality could not always be determined by sales figures or chart positions.
The organ can often take a back seat in the pecking order of great Jazz instruments but underappreciate it at your peril. The likes of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Booker T and Ray Charles, to name but a few, made the instrument their own while crafting jazz cuts of dazzling brilliance.
Never realised the breadth of the "Pop-Sike" genre until I heard Fading Yellow, a really fine compilation that hangs together beautifully as an album. That most of the tracks are obscure isn't surprising: everything is a little odd, a little ramshackle, with a strong melancholic undertow and not a little creepiness. Of course, this music is also specific to a particular time in Western pop music history so there's a strong nostalgic element, but the knowledge this music could never be exactly replicated is what also makes it so fascinating. Recommended, in a warm and loving 60s way.