If you search for "K-Tel" on YouTube, uploads from Brandon Hixson account for the overwhelming majority of the results and six of those are albums of his own creation, albums he calls The Best Albums K-Tel Never Made. Over on our other site The K-Tel Kollection, we've been featuring Brandon's vintage mixtapes complete with newly created K-Tel inspired covers for a couple of years now. Since Brandon recently posted yet another round of his unique creations, we thought we'd feature five more of them here on a Mixtape Monday - Special Wednesday Edition complete with links to Brandon's YouTube posts and exclusive Spotify playlists from The Hideaway.
Short Circuit is another blast of Eighties fun circa 1983. The album has fourteen pop, new wave and R&B tracks - half of them by artists originating outside the US; namely the UK and Australia. Someone who spent time watching MTV back then might be able to tell you how popular the music videos for these songs were but not us. We can confess to having seen videos for the Eurythmics, Culture Club, and Herbie Hancock songs. And we know that Phil Oakley has stated that the mystery Mirror Man was none other than Adam Ant. And just yesterday our soon-to-be-seventy-year-old-mother told us that she would rather watch music videos than simply just listen to music. Oh, the shame!
We thoroughly enjoyed listening to the first twelve tracks on Let The Music Play Volume 1 but the final two tracks closing out the album will be skipped every single time it is humanly possible to do so if we're listening even if it is in direct violation of the album's title. Here's hoping Volume 2 can redeem the Let The Music Play brand.
So we're listening and enjoying song after song from 1983/1984 and hoping Weird Al's "Eat It" (teased on the cover art) comes at the end of the album, the proper place for a novelty song in any mix. Giving Brandon bonus points for including "Give" by Missing Persons and "Hunters Of The Night" by Mr. Mister instead of the usual tracks by each artist found on compilation albums. Great Madonna track ("Borderline") in the mix too but "Eat It" comes too soon with two tracks still to go. Fortunately, those two tracks are good ones and all is not lost. Let The Music Play Volume 2 gets the edge over Volume 1 but you can listen to both volumes in one playlist.
As he has done on some of the previous entries in The Best Albums K-Tel Never Made series, Brandon focuses on the charted hits of a specific week for Neon '84 - May 26, 1984. On the first disc in the 2 volume set, we loved every track including the relatively obscure tracks by Van Stephenson, The Icicle Works, and Tracey Ullman. Volume 1 of Neon '84 races to the top of today's pack - can Volume 2 challenge it?
Neon '84 Volume 2 gets off to a faster start than its predecessor and maintains the high energy through four tracks before taking a pit stop with a Peabo Bryson track. Things quickly get back up to speed with another six really good songs flying by before Willie Nelson and his amigo Julio Iglesias wave the caution flag with two songs remaining. Lucky for us, Tina Turner then Rockwell and his amigo Michael Jackson bring Neon '84 Volume 2 to a satisfying end but we have to declare Volume 1 the winner here today. We prefer to listen to all 28 Pulsating Hits of Neon '84 in one playlist.
Tune in next time as we cover Brandon's latest series of uploads, The Supergroups.
Thanks to Brandon Hixson for sharing his talents and his continued support of both The Hideaway and The K-Tel Kollection.