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Cherry Pop

Title - ‘The Remix Anthology’ (Cherry Red)
Artist - Eighth Wonder

Formed in 1983, Eighth Wonder were a British pop band whose members included singer/actor Patsy Kensit, her brother Jamie and both Steve Grantley and Geoff Beauchamp. The band enjoyed #1 singles in Japan and Italy between 1985 and 1987, and hit singles in the UK and across Europe in 1988.

Cherry Red Records remastered and reissued their debut album Fearless back in 2010 and that also featured some of the various mixes that you’ll find here on this compilation also re: ‘Baby Baby (Dance Mix),’ ’I’m Not Scared (Disco Mix),’ etc. But that shouldn’t detract from the fact that this brand new 2014 collection is, for fans of the band, one of the best CDs out there today.

This fully remastered and wonderful-to-flashback-to era of music begins with ‘Stay With Me (Extended Version),’ which was actually off the band’s second album, Brilliant Dreams. I say second “album,” but by then re: 1987 they had broken from their record label and so this was a cheap 6-track EP for a Japan only release. That is backed by another track from that very same EP, ‘Having It All (Extended Version),’ and then; and finally (albeit not the best track from it) the great debut album Fearless gets a look in with the fun ‘Will You Remember? (Extended Version).’ Sounding like a Taylor Dayne outtake, it most certainly manages to showcase the length and breadth of Kensit‘s vocal tone.

Next up is the second track on the Fearless album (and weirdly also the first track on the Japan EP follow-up too!), ‘When The Phone Stops Ringing (Extended Remix),’ a track that sounds like a pop-lite Blondie cut from the day. One of their biggest hits to date is up next in ‘I’m Not Scared (Disco Mix).’ The second track on side one of the great Fearless album, it’s yet another perfect piece of 80’s pop fluff (and I mean that with love in my heart!). Funnily enough this was the only track off of Fearless which was co-produced and written by the Pet Shop Boys and Phil Harding. That said, and now knowing this fact, once you hear the back beat again today all you hear is PSB! [FYI: The Pet Shop Boys recorded their own version of the song for their album Introspective in 1988.]

The song that kicked-off side one of the brilliant Fearless album (and yes, that album has stuck with me forever as one of my all-time favorite albums from my youth) ‘Cross My Heart (House Mix)’ is next. Featuring the great line “Hypnotized, just one look from you and I’m paralyzed” it was the second and last hit single for the band. It is backed by the seductive Marilyn Monroesque vocals of ‘Baby Baby (Dance Mix). Next comes yet another cut from the Fearless album, the bouncy and highly upbeat ‘Use Me (Remix).’ The former bounces along at an incredible pace, threatening to knock the needle off the record (if this were ye olde vinyl days, of course) at any juncture. The latter is The track ‘Dusted (Acid House Mix) is next and is a nice rarity in itself. Sure Kensit basically only overly repeats the word “dusted” over some Acid House beats, but you won’t find it on either Fearless or Brilliant Dreams! It is followed by a few more various versions of songs that we’ve already now heard re: ‘I’m Not Scared (Little Louie Vega Mix),’ ‘Cross My Heart (Club Mix)’ and the finally, to round out this impressive collection, ‘I’m Not Scared (10” Remix).’

This CD (where tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 and 11 appear on CD in the UK for the first time ever!) includes a newly designed sleeve, a comprehensive UK discography and extensive sleeve notes. Also included, as noted above are two versions only previously available in the U.S. re: ‘Cross My Heart (Club Mix)’ and ‘I'm Not Scared (Little Louie Vega Mix).’

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

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