Sunday 26 August 2012

The Hit Parade - Pick of the Pops (Vol 1)

The Hit Parade's first compilation, released in 1988, collected all sides from the band's first six singles. Most of the songs were about one woman, Joanna. Sue, the b-side of the sixth single, revealed Hit Parade head honcho Julian Henry had a new obsession.

Twenty-four years later, this new Hit Parade compilation suggests that, actually, all along Henry's obsession was with the (unobtainable) Goddess woman. This is not the work of some old milksop, though. Yes, The Boy Who Loved Brighter is a song based on those (much-missed) indiepop bantamweights of yore, but it's more about being driven to suicide by the curse of unrequited love.

The scope of Pick of The Pops flips the bird to any indiepop detractor. What if Scott Walker had written songs with Carole King? I give you The Queen Of Mousehole. What if Felt's solipsistic diatribe Ballad Of The Band had been shaken off its Dylan influence for Suzi Quatro? It might have sounded like My Stupid Band.

Then there's the Europop dancefloor smash I Like Bubblegum. The sure-footed ballad In Gunnersbury Park is a modern classic torch song. It was recently covered by Let's Wrestle; if more musicians had heard it, you feel that they, too, would cover it.

The Hit Parade might always fly under pop's radar - they have done for almost 30 years - but on the strength of this collection, you must draw the conclusion that the record-buying public is largely out of step with any sense of quality control.

Pick Of The Pops (Vol 1) is out on September 24.

The Queen of Mousehole by the-hit-parade

In Gunnersbury Park by the-hit-parade

My Stupid Band by the-hit-parade


  1. thanks for the heads up, can't wait for this one!!

  2. Just got my copy of this - a lovely collection of songs!