Faithful viewers of HERC's Hideaway know that HERC is a bit of a Anglophile as well as a bit of an Aussophile, digging the music, the artists and the compilations native to both countries. While this feature may be a better fit over at the K-Tel Kollection, HERC decided to run it today here on the Hideaway in leiu of the regularly scheduled Mixtape Monday, which will definitely appear soon.
Here's the brief: While researching K-Tel posts, HERC came across www.oz-compilation-albums.com (pictured above) featuring Australian Compilation Albums from the Sixties up through the Eighties. K-Tel is well-represented among the albums documented but what caught HERC's eye was some of the other compilations from other labels, some he knew (EMI, CBS, WEA) and some that were new to him (Polystar, Festival, Majestic, Select). HERC quickly counted nearly a dozen or so albums he would have purchased, had he had access to them back when they were issued. And who knows, he still might pick them up, thirty-five years after the fact. Here are two such albums, both from 1980:
With the interesting catalog number GIVE 1980, this album was "made possible through a unique co-operation of two record companies...": WEA and EMI. Featuring eighteen songs that reached the Top 40 on the Melbourne charts, 1980 ...The Music has only five songs that failed to crack the Top 10. (By comparison, only eight of the eighteen songs made the Top 40 in the US.) These are the four chart-topping Number One singles on 1980 ...The Music, shown in their original, small-holed Australian glory:
The album was also released on cassette with only a slight hint of the vinyl's snazzy artwork:
For more information on the songs on 1980 ...The Music, including their peak chart position in Australia, click HERE. To see album cover and label scans for 1980 ...The Music, click HERE.
Like the album above, 1980 The Summer was distributed by EMI and contained eighteen songs from "a unique co-operation of record companies" (as it states on the lower right of the back cover) including EMI, Festival, Astor, Alberts, WBE, Regular and Mushroom. The unique catalog number assigned to 1980 The Summer was GIVE 2001 and HERC could find no mention of a cassette release. Thirteen of the songs reached the Top 10, with two rising all the way to the top Down Under (How long have you been saving that one, HERC? - ed.):
For fun, HERC created an Australian version of the K-Tel Scale to measure each of these Australian album's Top 40ishness. On a scale of 1 (trace amounts of Top 40) to 40 (every song a #1), 1980 ...The Music scored a 32.67 and 1980 The Summer scored a 31.61. It will be interesting how the rest of the Aussie compilation albums rank going forward, don't you think?
The Oz answer to UK's Top Of The Pops (and later, Solid Gold here in the States) was Count Down. Here are some performance clips from vintage 1980 episodes of Count Down featuring songs from the albums above. Please let HERC know in the comments below if you'd like to see more of his favorite Eighties Australian Compilation albums in the future. And don't forget to visit www.oz-compilation-albums.com to see more albums and more chart facts about the songs on those albums including record label and the artist's country of origin. Tell 'em HERC sent ya. (The first video is actually of Rocky Burnette, son of Johnny Burnette. Billy Burnette is Rocky's cousin and son of Johnny's brother, Dorsey Burnette.)