The Hits Album 4 or Hits 4 is a compilation album released in the UK in March 1986 by CBS and WEA, with RCA Ariola now also joining the partnership from this release onwards. It followed The Hits Album and Hits 2 to the top of the UK Top 100 Album chart and remained there for 4 weeks.
VARIOUS: Hits 4 (Double, gatefold WEA compilation 1986 signed, autographed) LP Electronic, Pop, Rock, Pop Rock, Synth-pop bands.
Various – Hits 4
Label: WEA Records Ltd.,
Catalog#: HITS 4,
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP
Genre: Electronic, Pop, Rock, Pop Rock, Synth-pop, Vocal
A1 a-ha – The Sun Always Shines On T.V.
A2 Feargal Sharkey – You Little Thief
A3 Wham! – I’m Your Man
A4 Bangles – Manic Monday
A5 Madonna – Borderline
A6 Blow Monkeys, The – Digging Your Scene
A7 Belouis Some – Imagination
B1 The Damned – Eloise
B2 Fine Young Cannibals – Suspicious Minds
B3 PIL* – Rise
B4 Bronski Beat – Hit That Perfect Beat
B5 Eurythmics – Its Allright (Babys Coming Back)
B6 Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
B7 Mr. Mister – Kyrie (Edit)
C1 Diana Ross – Chain Reaction
C2 Whitney Houston – How Will I Know
C3 Alexander O’neal – If You Were Here Tonight (Remix) Remix – Unknown Artist
C4 Five Star – System Addict
C5 Paul Hardcastle – Don’t Waste My Time. Vocals – Carol Kenyon
C6 Whistle – (Nothing Serious) Just Buggin’
C7 Full Force – Alice, I Want You Just For Me!
D1 Double – The Captain Of Her Heart
D2 Latin Quarter – Radio Africa
D3 Mike & The Mechanics – Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)
D4 Howard Jones – No One Is To Blame
D5 Dee C. Lee – Come Hell Or Waters High
D6 Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love
D7 Electric Light Orchestra – Calling America
After a fairly uniform design for the opening three volumes, Hits 4 bore a new image – the monopoly board was replaced by modern art. We’re still carrying 28 tracks and in this instance four of them are chart-toppers.
Hits 4 does not disappoint. It is a stronger and more coherent record than its predecessor with the first side being as good as it gets. Once again A-ha lead off and this time they went one better than Take On Me as The Sun Always Shines On TV knocked West End Girls off its perch on 25 January 1986. Feargal Sharkey’s just-as-great follow-up to A Good Heart is next – You Little Thief. I always thought that he sang “You little bastard”. It seems to have vanished off our airwaves today. I’m Your Man and Manic Monday are quality pop tunes while Madonna’s reissued Borderline [from her 1983 debut] remains one of her greatest creations. We then move to the sophisticated groove of Dr Robert and his timeless Digging Your Scene before Belouis Some’s equally polished Imagination [second time around; it flopped in 1985] concludes a most satisfying opening quarter.
Side 2 is the dance arena. There’s soul power from Diana Ross [Chain Reaction] and Whitney Houston [How Will I Know] before Alexander O’Neal brings on the smoothness with his delightful If You Were Here Tonight. System Addict was the seventh and final 45 from Luxury Of Life and confounded the band by reaching #3. Paul Hardcastle’s Don’t Waste My Time is all about Carol Kenyon’s powerful vocal effort while the Whistle and Full Force tracks complement each other as fine examples of well-crarted US R&B. Touched by the hand of Howie Tee.
The Damned’s goth phase stayed undead with their haunting cover of Paul Ryan’s Eloise. The Fine Young Cannibals got back on the hit wagon with a driving take on Suspicious Minds while a memorable promo video helped PIL’s Rise climb the charts. Bronski Beat suffered a hammer blow the previous autumn when Jimmy Somerville left to form The Communards. He was replaced by John Foster [Jon Jon] and they reached #3 with the pounding Hit That Perfect Beat before burning out on their second LP Truthdare Doubledare. Eurythmics pulled a fourth single from Be Yourself Tonight – the wistful It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back) which was way better than the Aretha duet. Two breakthroughs sign off side 3; the Pet Shop Boys West End Girls is remixed and climbs to number one while Mr Mister’s Kyrie still sounds like a pleasant slice of inoffensive rock.
“I found a fox / caught my jocks”.
The wheels finally come off on side 4 with a somewhat uneven mix of styles.
The good #1: Mike and The Mechanics – Silent Running. Synth masterpiece from the old testament.
The good #2: Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love. The title track of her greatest LP complete with spot-the-sample from 1958’s Night Of The Demon [“it’s in the trees / it’s coming”].
The good #3: Latin Quarter – Radio Africa. White reggae vibe with a political slant that’s still relevant.
The rest: Howard Jones’s last meaningful hit No One Is To Blame is a nice piano piece while Double make the most of their limited talent on The Captain Of Her Heart. The inclusion of the Dee C Lee and Electric Light Orchestra tracks is genuinely perplexing as they’re both pretty dull. However there’s enough here to keep the Now compilers on their toes. Roll on the summer.
Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
Madonna – Borderline
Blow Monkeys – Digging Your Scene
Mike and The Mechanics – Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)
Lest we forget
Bronski Beat – Hit That Perfect Beat