CRUNCHIE HITS

I always swear I will never buy another compilation album. I will ignore Various Artists, shun themed collections, eschew curated histories. I have enough. More than enough.

So how come this section of the Vinyl Connection Collection still manages to grow?

Today’s Curiosity Corner will give you an idea. There I was, getting to the end of the alphabetical section at one of my favourite stores and sheer browsing momentum carried me over into the Various Artists section. I wasn’t me, it was physics.

p (momentum) = m * v

I was flipping those LP pretty damn rapidly, let me tell you ( v for velocity). And my personal mass (m) has swelled recently due to lack of exercise and an increase in consumption of chocolate covered treats (and wine). So you can well believe that the p was substantial. Enough to get me through the VA bin at a coast.

And what did I find there, but an album sponsored by a confectionary company. More than that, a particular candy bar. Crunchie Presents…  How could anyone resist?

Easily, you say.

But wait. When I slid out the record it turns out to be on honey coloured vinyl. Not yellow, or gold-ish, but a genuine red-hot stab at a honeycomb LP, with faint flecks throughout and a golden texture so mouth-watering it made you want to eat it. Or at least buy it, which I promptly did for the princely sum of eight Aussie dollars. Absolute bargain, if you ask me.

To be honest, I would probably never have played it (or perhaps even purchased it) without this very blog. Buying to blog, eh? Haven’t heard that excuse in a while.

So let’s pig out on Crunchie hits, with each track getting a rating in Bars (that’s mini-chocolate bars, of course).

Gold—John Stewart

Excellent choice of opening cut. This song was big on the old transistorised airways back in 1979. Strong opener. Always loved the album title Bombs Away Dream Babies. Stewart died in 2008 at aged 68.

4 Bars

Hot Town—Jon English

Aussie icon of the 70s, having played Judas in JC Superstar. Kind of funky disco-ish song with ordinary verses but a catchy chorus. English died a few weeks before his 67th birthday in 2016. Is everyone on this album dead from sugar-related illnesses, I wonder?

3 Bars

Halfway Hotel—Voyager

I recall this, the UK band’s only hit. Nice hook in the chorus and slightly interesting song construction. Amusing lyric:

You’ll be amazed to see the people 

Who you thought so swell 

Tipping back the moselle 

And life is so hard on a credit card

3 ½ Bars

Reunited—Peaches & Herb

Schmaltz. Bleh.

0 Bars

Sunburn—Graham Gouldman

Amusing 10cc-ish ditty about what happens when the English encounter solar energy. Would have been a solid 3 Bars except for the skin cancer penalty.

2 ½ Bars

Water Of Love—Dire Straits

Track two from Dire Straits debut album has a gentle calypso flavour and some nice slide from Mark Knopfler. A pleasant summery feel, if a bit lightweight.

3 Bars

Maybe—Thom Pace

Never heard of this US singer-songwriter. Wiki tells me this was his only hit. Reminds me of Bread. Bland.

1 Bar

I Love The NIghtlife—Alicia Bridges

This was a hit for Ms Bridges in 1978. Disco with a country twang? Not memorable. Factoid: Alicia was plagued for several years by the occasional appearance of an imposter, masquerading as the singer at various events, including a country music convention. The Real Ms Bridges gave evidence—presumably that she was herself—at a subsequent trial.

 

I Will Survive—Gloria Gaynor

I was not in the demographic for this song at the time (disco), and am not really part of the flow of it’s enduring anthem status thereafter. Still, a generous score for survival and creative re-purposing is indicated.

4 Bars

Shake Your Groove Thing—Peaches & Herb

These guys again? They must have bought shares in Cadbury. This 1978 hit sounds like a rip-off of the Bee Gees “You Should Be Dancing”. Quite like the instrumental break-down in the middle of the song.

2 Bars

Part Time Love—Elton John

What does part-time love mean? Affairs? Commitment problems? Bi-sexuality? Long-distance relationship? Surely Bernie Taupin didn’t write such a rubbish lyric for this limp song?* Sorry, Elt, but this is bloody dreadful.

½ Bar

* He didn’t.

Rat Trap—The Boomtown Rats

This single hit #1 on the UK Chart in late ’78, apparently the first ‘punk, new wave’ song to do so. I don’t know it at all, but enjoyed this first exposure. Probably the only track here with a bit of edge. And a bit of brass (How punk!).

3 ½ Bars

Dirty Work—Max Merritt

A creditable cover of the early Steely Dan song. New Zealand born Max and his band The Meteors had several huge Downunder hits in the mid-70s. This one from ’79 didn’t do much, maybe because it is a bit too balladified.

3 Bars

Hello, this Is Joannie—Paul Evans

Oh, fuck, it’s another of those awful “Living next door to Alice” story ballads. I’m leaving the room and will be back when Eric arrives.

Promises—Eric Clapton

Backless was not a Clapton album I ever thought much of. Kind of anodyne. “Promises” was the single and did OK. As a song it’s OK too, in a kind of sub-JJ Cale kind of way.

2 ½ Bars

Six Ribbons—Jon English

The UK born Aussie singer returns for Crunchie’s final bite. This folk song was the theme for an enormously popular period TV mini-series in which English also starred. The album was credited to Jon and Mario Milo of Aussie symphonic prog band Sebastian Hardie. A ubiquitous hit in Aus, yet having not heard it for years, enjoyable.

3 ½ Bars

Having got through 16 songs and almost as many mini-Crunchies, I’m not in any fit state to tabulate the scores. I’ll loan you a calculator if you want to do the math.

Oh, and you know those flecks? I think they were either scuffs or evidence that 70s coloured vinyl was utter crap. Or perhaps honeycomb in the grooves. Whatever the explanation, Cadbury Crunchie came with a generous serving of surface noise. If I’d known, I probably would have put it back.

But then I wouldn’t have written this post.

*

Love some of these songs to death?  Got your own confectionary themed compilation? Do share.

45 comments

  1. I swear these chocolate compilations get smaller every year. Or are my hands just getting bigger?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. LOL-thing. I think it’s your hands.
      PS. Meant to ask, Scott, did my Sabbath review pass muster last post?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it did! I forgot to leave a comment on that one. My only quibble… Conan was round at mine the other week and his favourite album is Manowar’s ‘Sign of the Hammer’. Sorry.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Those Cimmarians get around, don’t they? Though I guess it isn’t so far to your part of the globe? Did the big bloke drink you out of house and home?

          Like

        2. No. He’s on a diet. Had a cup of tea and a garibaldi.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. The commercial success of these compilation albums ist an advert for modern living.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Guess so. The TV special… along with knives, blenders, exercise machines…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That old black magic (choc_box) has got me in its spell

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Cue confectionary jokes! We’re off to a good start.

      Like

  4. Weirdest compilation I’ve ever heard of, but lovely record!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ain’t it? There’s probably a back story, but, hey, do we really care? Another sweet, guv?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I do have a sweet tooth.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. One wonders A) why is it called ‘Crunchie and 2) why is it a gold LP? And were these songs that someone truly liked or (more likely) ones they owned the rights to use? Pithy random song comments follow: The song ‘Gold’ is, for me, a shrug, take or leave; I’ll take a pass on anything disco except for maybe the odd BeeGees tune; When you said ‘Part Time Love’ I thought it was the Stevie Wonder one which I actually like; And even though I don’t listen to Clapton for that type of stuff, I’ve always kind of liked the lilting nature of ‘Promises’ and especially the duet with Marcy Levy. This song and ‘Water of Love’ are, for me, the class act of the album and deserve a better neighborhood. One can only commend your dedication to vinyl and the blogosphere and simultaneously wonder if this will ever get played a second time. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Advertising LPs were not exactly common, but did pop up now and then. I recall one by a jeans company. So why not the classic Crunchie honeycomb bar? I wonder if their marketing department received bouquets or brick bats?!
      As for your final musing, Jim, the answer is a resounding ‘No!’. It’ll only appear to show people the lovely coloured vinyl!

      Like

      1. Heh! I have the J. Geils ‘Bloodshot’ album in vinyl and it is, in fact, blood red. My guess is you know that and have it but I couldn’t find it via a search on your page. May I say as well that content-wise, it is way better than ‘Crunchie’ if perhaps less fun to actually say.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t have ‘Bloodshot’, just the cut-out telephone J Geils album. Is the sound any good Jim? Most of the early coloured or pic disc albums I have are pretty rubbish sound wise.

          Like

        2. Can’t remember. No offense but I abandoned vinyl years ago. For all its perceived warmth, I found records to be a scratchy hassle. All that said, I’ll find the album and give it a spin for old times’ sake.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. You only got through approximately 16 mini Crunchies in that time? Not to boast, but I could probably have tanned about 30. Easy.

    As for the LP, it looks pretty great, but I get the impression the actual chocolate eating was more exciting than the listening experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s quite a random compilation. Some of the tunes are pretty good though!

    As for compilation albums in general, I have a number of them in my very moderate vinyl collection. It’s kind of funny how music fans oftentimes end up having mixed feelings about the concept.

    After all, why should somebody else determine what’s worthy to include? Oftentimes, “greatest hits” are simply artists’ commercially most successful tunes, not necessarily what you consider their best music.

    But the reality is most folks don’t have the means to own all of an artist’s music – essentially relying on my moderate allowance, I certainly did not when I was a teenager, which is when I got into vinyl first (prior to the CD era) and purchased various compilations.

    While I now sometimes wonder why I didn’t get “regular” studio albums instead, the majority of my compilations ended up being reasonable, broad introductions into an artist’s music. And that’s not a bad thing.

    As for this particular compilation, in case you are feeling buyer’s remorse (or is it nausea from too many chocolate bars?), consider this: How many other vinyl records do you have that are in gold color? Who knows, someday this record may be worth a lot of money!😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All excellent points, Christian. And quite right in you final observation. As I mentioned to Jim, ‘show and tell’ is probably the only use to which this attractive gold disc will be put.

      Like

  8. fancy a run with me and some following work-out, mate? no guarantees that it will keep you safe from choco-vulnerability for long (maybe the opposite), but at least it will tame your sense of guilt. provided your conscience is feeling guilty – which i doubt, considering what’s on the tray of your blog offer today, eheh.
    water of love is a finger-sexual pleasure to play, i must tell you. its feel and magnetism is so strong on me that i’d kill to keep that vinyl (dire straits n1) safe from alien hands 🙂
    agree on elton’ song.
    nice to be back here tooooooo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t run – more kind of stagger using the momentum formula above – but I’ll happily sit watching you work up a lather while quaffing some wine. actually, I resumed tennis yesterday after a long injury/illness layoff and did OK, so not too much guilt today!

      makes sense what you say about playing the Knopfler tune. JJ Cale songs are fun to strum too.

      great to hear from you man!

      Like

      1. alive and vibrant, mate! happy to be back!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. The only compilation albums I ever bought were the ones from Motown. By strict definition, they were still compilations, but Motown/Tamla always got a pass from me for whatever I might not have liked elsewhere. That is, until they introduced the singer Charlene (“Never Been To Me”), though that’s quite another story. Anyway, suffice to say I’ve never been a fan of compilations either.

    True story: Back in the nineties, Herb of “Peaches and Herb” was a security guard at the government agency building in which I worked in Washington, DC. I had no idea it was him until a co-worker told me who he was. He wasn’t there long; apparently it was just till his next recording and touring venture could start up again. I do recall he was quite popular with the ladies. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your story about Herb doesn’t surprise me. In my reading of bios of musicians, oftentimes there is between-gig work and it’s menial because many are unable (or unwilling) to cultivate any other skill set. Keith Richards tells this story: “We walked into Chess Studios and there’s this guy in black overalls painting the ceiling. And it’s Muddy Waters and he’s got whitewash streaming down his face and he’s on top of a ladder.” And in reference to Geils again, I am in the Boston area and a guy who was in a band with me once saw the drummer from that band doing some menial piece work like addressing envelopes or something in a back room. Ah, the glamorous life of a musician.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, they’re certainly not all millionaires. I do recall that a couple of years later Herb had resurrected the duo with a new Peaches, and off they went. For a time anyway. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. A ‘new Peaches’? Outrageous! What faithless fruit flipping.
          Though, after all those years, maybe Herb needed more spice?

          Like

    2. That’s is a great point about compilations, Marty. They work really well for the pre-album era, where singles were the pop currency. I have a CD of highlight from the ACE label, that is just brilliant. And another from VeeJay. And so it goes…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s like punk missed Australia. Or at least the makers of that compilation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure it’s quite fair to base that conclusion on one marketing LP from a chocolate company. 😉

      Talking of punk comps, do you know/have “Do the Pop” – it is a truly brilliant collection.

      Like

      1. I was listening to The Saints last week, but I don’t think the makers of that compilation were.

        I haven’t heard of ‘Do The Pop’ – I had a look and I only really know about The Saints and Hoodoo Gurus. Sounds pretty interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow. I’m not sure I have the words. I am a bit sad Mr Cadburys didn’t have the imagination to approach Hot Chocolate, or Matthew Sweet for this one. It all sounds a bit ghastly apart from old Gloria, Dire Straits and the Rats. I know I’d have bought it though.

    It always surprises me how many compilations I own, my friend had the Louie Louie one, that was good – 14 different cover versions of the same song, from marching bands to Black Flag. That was a good way to organize one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And something by glam rockers Sweet. Or someone covering ‘My boy lollipop’… 🙂

      There was a 2001 Aussie compilation – a whole CD of different versions of the Spectrum classic “I’ll be gone”. Quite a test to get through all of it at a sitting, but a good charity cause, as I recall.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Louie Louie one was quite a good listen actually. In fact they may have released a Volume 2 of that one as well. Owning both would be a marker for psychosis though (DSM IV, all the way).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Too true. Probably came with a mental health warning sticker. “Too much Louie Louie can make you blue or screwy”. Something like that.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Everything should come with that sticker on it. Everything!

          Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s a very weird collection of songs. I can only assume that some A&R guy (because they were always guys) got tasked with promoting the stable and came up with the genius (and effort-saving) solution of bunging them all down on one disk.

    “Hey guys, I’ve got this GREAT idea. Here, take a Crunchie Bar, and a big sniff of this white powder and sit back. You’re going to LOVE this.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I wrote the song notes, I noticed that most of them were bone fide hits. Guess it’s no less cohesive than the multitude of other TV Special compilations.

      As someone observed, often rights and ownership play a big part in what gets compiled. Rights, ownership and – as you say – drugs. Probably covers it.
      And chocolate honeycomb of course.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. That’s… beautiful! Nice score, I’m glad you gave it a shot! I don’t own any chocolate bar-related comps, but I do (somewhere) have an old 50s or 60s comp that (I think) Chevy put out for some reason lost to the mists of time…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. As usual you keep it interesting. All I can add is, I have a neigbor who gives me records becuse he knows I like jazz. I have recieved all sorts of really good ones. Ellington. Getz, MJQ, Oscar Peterson etc …. I think you get the idea. I’m walking by the other day and he runs out and hands me a new one. ‘Alicia Bridges’. I know where you live Bruce, so keep checking the mail box.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s hilarious. But please don’t get any ideas!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Bruce I never have liked Herbs on my Peaches. I wouldn’t give “Shake Your Groove Thing” any bars just for that reason alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The extra info on Herb’s story in the comments was interesting, though.

      And even after the awful pop music, there’s still the honeycomb vinyl!

      Liked by 1 person

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