9/15/13

Priority's MEGA HITS DANCE CLASSICS [1989-1994]



Priority Records had the CD compilation game on lock in the late Eighties and early Nineties, beating evey other label to market with Rock Of The 80's (new wave) and Rapmasters (old school rap) and Mega Hits Dance Classics (disco).  The frst seven volumes of Mega Hits Dance Classics were released in 1989 and each disc contained 12 tracks.  















The second influx of the series was in 1991 and vols. 8-10, with a reduced track count of nine per disc. Another visibly noticeable difference was the cover art; for the first seven volumes, all the tracks were listed on the front cover but for the second installment of three volumes, only four song titles "And More!" appeared on the cover.  








A third and final flight of 3 volumes appeared in 1994, nearly five years after the series had begun, bringing the complete series count up to thirteen volumes and 138 songs from 1973 through 1988. The songs are not presented in any sort of chronological order and three songs are actually repeated among the discs.  








There are 56 Number One R&B, 43 Number One Pop and 39 Number One Hot Disco/Dance songs spread throughout the collection so the appeal is mostly for popular disco music enthusiasts rather than the club-goers who prefer the longer, extended versions of these songs as well as a more exotic selection of tunes.  As the artwork for Volume 1 (at top of post) and Volume 11 (above) reveals, the series was simultaneously released as Mega Hits Disco with exactly the same track listing and cover art only modified with the title change.  The sound is hit and miss throughout - some songs sound fine while others have audible clipping but its all par for the course for pioneering Priority collections. Other than the statement "The best available source masters were utilized on this compact disc" there is no mastering information provided.


For HERC, who dilligently bought the first ten volumes as they were released, the third flight that ended the series was a "no buy" because by 1994, he had obtained all the songs elsewhere.  Ron "Boogiemonster" Gerber was of the same mind as he posted on his site Crap From The Past:
There were additional volumes in the series released at a later date, but there were only 9 skimpy tracks per disc, and I never got around to buying them. I think they went up to Vol. 13.
As he does several times throughout his Favorite Compilation CDs pages, Ron posted a link to a spreadsheet of the songs contained within the Mega Hits Dance Classics series.  HERC ported the document over into Google Docs, updated it to include volumes 11-13 and added a few additional data elements.  All credit goes to Ron Gerber for creating the original spreadsheet and sharing it with his close personal friends on the interwebtubes.  HERC just added every other disco compilation CD he could find!

DISCO compilations [Google Spreadsheet]

In 1996, Priority issued yet another Mega Hits series, made up of songs from the first go round.  Each of the four discs in the series had nine tracks and a budget price.  HERC remembers seeing them for $5.99 but he never picked any of them up.  The covers in the series featured pictures of live models instead of illustrations as seen below:



Then in 1997, Priority utilized the Mega Hits brand in a series of discs that featured not disco and dance classics but dance versions of popular songs of the time.  The discs were titled Mega Hits Dance Party. There were three volumes in that series and HERC is only mentioning them as a consumer warning. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you posted this! When I was 8 year old I had pestered my mom into buying me volume 4 for some reason. I didn't know anything on it but I must have loved the cover art or something. Either way, that volume was my first experience with disco! I didn't think anyone would even remember this series!

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