HITLINE [1979]

The deeper we dive into the Kollection, the more HERC realizes that his decision to run the albums down by matrix number might not have been the best way to go.  Things are a little off, both chronologically and logically.  For years (or at least since the early Seventies), the geniuses in the K-Tel Headquarters would market a few single disc compilations followed at year's end by a double disc compilation of those previously released tunes, a best of album if you will. Then they would split that album in half and market it as two separate albums.  Geniu$!  Today's album Hitline is just such a double album for the year 1980 but catalog number-wise, it falls near the end of the 1979 year so many of the songs have yet to be covered here on K-Tel Kollection - but they soon will be.

Take a look at the tracklist of Hitline in the Spotify playlist above - it is packed with hits among its 24 tracks.  Beginning with not one but BOTH of the chart topping songs by Michael Jackson from Off The Wall, the album that came before Thriller.  The other thing HERC immediately noticed while looking at Hitline's tracklist is the number of songs with the word "YOU" in the title: 9.  (That seems like a lot, doesn't it?)  And lastly, the first record in the set is more upbeat and danceable while the second one is more laid back and mellow for the most part.  HERC did not own many 45s of songs from Hitline but he had the five albums pictured below, which do contain songs from Hitline:
HERC sees maybe three songs that missed the Top 20 and maybe one or two that missed the Top 40 altogether.  There are definitely three and possibly as many as six Number Ones because HERC doesn't know the charts as well he thinks he does but he's predicting a possible new entry into the Top 10 highest scoring albums here on the K-Tel Kollection with a score of 32.  Let's run Hitline through the K-Tel Scale and see what it says.

HITLINE [1980]
K-tel Scale:
32.65
Billboard Top 40s
PopR&BDiscoACCBWLS
Rock With YouMichael Jackson11221138
We Are FamilySister Sledge2113025
You Can't Change ThatRaydio93251010
Dance With YouCarrie Lucas276
Hold On To My LoveJimmy Ruffin10293214
Working My Way Back To You / Forgive Me GirlThe Spinners268533
StompBrothers Johnson711820
Ladies NightKool & the Gang81548
Don't Let GoIsaac Hayes181131718
Makin' ItDavid Naughton51152
Heaven Must Have Sent YouBonnie Pointer1181033
Don't Stop Til You Get EnoughMichael Jackson11217
Escape (The Pina Colada Song)Rupert Holmes1812
Yes, I'm ReadyTeri DeSario with KC22013
Please Don't GoKC & the Sunshine Band12735
Dancin' ShoesNigel Olsson18817
Where Were You When I Was Falling In LoveLobo23116
Just When I Needed You MostRandy Vanwarmer41512
Romeo's TuneSteve Forbert111311
Stumblin' InSuzi Quatro & Chris Norman44611
GoldJohn Stewart5612
Lonesome LoserLittle River Band61576
Back On My Feet AgainThe Babys3329
Bad Case Of Loving YouRobert Palmer141011
All but one song made the Top 40 and two other songs missed the Top 20 with sixteen songs hitting the Top 10 with four of those going all the way to the top.  And as HERC noted, the first record (the first dozen songs) shows lots of crossover on the more upbeat R&B and Disco charts while the second record predominantly crossed over to the more mellow Adult Contemporary chart.  Overall, a very respectable 32.65 on the K-Tel Scale and good enough to land the #10 spot on this site's Top 10 chart.
Hitline was also released as two separate records, labelled Vol. I and Vol. II with identical tracklisting to the records featured in the double album package.  The 8-track tape versions (above) featured slightly rearranged track listings to accommodate the limitations of the tape while the cassette versions (below) featured yet another arrangement of the songs to minimize the silence on each side of the tape.
Hitline was simultaneously released in Canada with yet another tracklisting as seen on the 8-track label below.  The Canadian Hitline and American Hitline both had twenty-four songs but they only have these three songs in common:
  • "Lonesome Loser" - Little River Band
  • "Back On My Feet Again" - The Babys
  • "You Can't Change That" - Raydio

The vinyl running order was used in the K-Tel Scale below and it surprisingly has more than just a few of HERC's favorite songs. In addition, unless HERC is mistaken, there are only three songs from obvious Canadian artists instead of the usual five or more which generally tend to torpedo Canadian albums on the K-Tel Scale.

HITLINE [1980] CAN
K-tel Scale:
26.17
Billboard Top 40s
PopR&BDiscoACCBWLS
Break It To Them GentlyBurton Cummings
This Is ItKenny Loggins1119178
Cruel To Be KindNick Lowe12361215
Hold OnIan Gomm181025
Ring My BellAnita Ward11111
All The Tea In ChinaSusan Jacks
Too BadDoug and the Slugs
Dream PoliceCheap Trick26278
Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'Journey16152
Boogie WonderlandEarth, Wind & Fire6214512
Two Out Of Three Ain't BadMeat Loaf11COU31911
The Devil Went Down To GeorgiaCharlie Daniels Band3142
Heart Of GlassBlondie112
Sad EyesRobert John11012
When You're In Love With A Beautiful WomanDr. Hook6557
Time PassagesAl Stewart71916
Pretty GirlsMelissa Manchester3926
I'll Never Love This Way AgainDionne Warwick518555
My SharonaThe Knack111
One Way Or AnotherBlondie242231
Back On My Feet AgainThe Babys3329
HeartbreakerPat Benatar23196
Lonesome LoserLittle River Band61576
You Can't Change ThatRaydio93251010

That's actually one of the higher scores for a Canadian version.  Instead of a separate Spotify playlist for the Hitline Canadian Edition, HERC combined it with the US playlist near the top of the post for a 40 song Hitline United Nations Super Playlist below.



Next time out, HERC tracks through the last of his 1979 K-Tel albums, Starflight.


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