He has posted more classic K-Tel albums from the Seventies and Eighties to YouTube - complete with all the clicks and pops some of you may remember - than any other uploader and hidden in plain sight among those popular, well-received posts are Brandon Hixson's original K-Tel inspired compilations. Brandon has dubbed these albums, uploaded from CD-Rs recently rediscovered in his personal archives, The Best Albums K-Tel Never Made and he was kind enough to send The K-Tel Kollection advance notice, including hi-res cover art, of the last two waves he has posted. We've been featuring these unique albums a few at a time, in somewhat chronological order, sharing the original YouTube links so you can show Brandon some support as well as exclusive Spotify recreations of each album just for fun. Here are some of what I have dubbed The Other Ones - albums without a specific year attached.
The theme of this album is given away by just a cursory glance at the tracklisting - every song's title has the word heart and, as you can see from the the cover, all are sung by women. Brandon did a good job rounding up fourteen tracks that fit the criteria with six of those being certified Hideaway favorites. Our favorite track of the bunch is "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" which finds both Stevie and Tommy in fine voice. Duet schmuet, I got this.
Billed as 16 Soft Rock Wonders, we really enjoy Magic Moves around here though our definition of soft rock wonders and Brandon's definition differs a bit especially on the album's final track, the funky "Take Your Time (Do It Right)". Curiously, Brandon lists just fifteen of the sixteen tracks on the YouTube post for Magic Moves despite listing sixteen artists and promising 16 Soft Rock Wonders right on the cover. A little deduction finds that Amy Holland is the artist not listed in the description so we're assuming it was her lone hit "How Do I Survive" missing from the tracklisting. Those minor technicalities aside, Magic Moves is a great listen and highly recommended.
Volume I of Modern Dance - Today's Top Dance Hits just wasn't our thing though we got very excited when the opening notes of Oingo Boingo's "Just Another Day" began about forty-seven minutes in. This album is just another example of how personal mixtapes, mix discs, and playlists can be at times - we're sure every track is special to Brandon for one or more reasons.
We like Modern Dance Volume II - Today's Top Dance Hits only marginally more than we liked Volume I. Had Brandon included liner notes for either album, we could have at least shared his enthusiasm for his chosen tracks on some level. Both albums probably won't get any additional plays here at The Hideaway which is more of a comment on our tastes rather than Mr. Hixson's.
Several of the ladies featured on The Heart of Rock return on Rockin' Ladies of the '80s, a CD-length compilation of twenty tracks, including one in common with The Heart of Rock: Olivia Newton-John's "Heart Attack". This album is a great listen with lots of energy and sass though we moved Lulu's soft-rockin' track over to our personal Magic Moves playlist in place of the Dionne Warwick track. The final six tracks that close out the album make a wonderful block of Hideaway favorites.