Choices – The Singles Collection
|Choices - The Singles Collection|
|Greatest hits album by The Blow Monkeys|
|Released||7 August 1989|
|Genre||Pop rock, new wave, dance|
|Label||RCA / Ariola / BMG|
Michael Baker & The Axeman
|The Blow Monkeys chronology|
Choices – The Singles Collection was a compilation album collecting British band The Blow Monkeys's greatest hits, which was released in 1989, by RCA label, and distributed by BMG / Ariola. The album displays all the group's musical history, from the new wave of the début album to their pop rock and funky evolution, up to their discovery of the potentialities of the new dance revolution (a genre that they definitively embraced on their last album, Springtime for the World, which was released one year after, in 1990, shortly before they split up).
Two editions came out of this greatest hits collection: the vinyl version only included the first 10 songs (from "Wait" to "It Pays to Belong"), whereas the CD version contained 6 more songs, also presenting the singles from their first 1984 album, Limping for a Generation, which didn't chart in the UK Top 75, as well as two 12" remixes of "Wait" and the title-track "Choice?", and the first single taken from their 1986 second album, "Forbidden Fruit", which also didn't make it into the British charts - it was released a short time before the group obtained their very first smash hit with the single "Digging Your Scene", going Number 12 in March 1986.
The album also includes their only UK Top Ten hit as a band, the song called "It Doesn't Have to Be This Way", which reached Number 5, in January 1987. The other chart-buster for the group was the above mentioned "Wait", getting to Number 7 in January 1989, even though the song was credited only to The Blow Monkeys' lead singer Dr Robert's real name, Robert Howard, along with Chicago house diva Kym Mazelle (but it did appear on the band's fourth album, Whoops! There Goes the Neighbourhood).
The collection contains three more duets: "Celebrate (The Day After You)", with legendary Curtis Mayfield (a favourite of Dr. Robert), and the latest 1989 singles, "Choice?" and "Slaves No More", with powerful vocalist Sylvia Tella, which were previously unreleased when the album came out. The title-track got to Number 22, one of two Top 30 hits from the group (the other being the soulful ballad "Out with Her", which lingered exactly at the bottom of the UK Top 30). The one Top 40 was instead the 1989 dance remix version of "This Is Your Life", going to Number 32 in April - no less than 38 positions higher than the original pop funky cut, which had stopped at Number 70 in August 1988 (only the later remix features on Choices – The Singles Collection).
Minor hits were "Wicked Ways" (from 1986 Animal Magic), at Number 60, the duet with Mayfield, at Number 52, and "Some Kind of Wonderful", at Number 67 (both were taken from The Blow Monkeys's most successful album, She Was Only a Grocer's Daughter, which got to Number 20 - only the compilation Choices – The Singles Collection itself did better, peaking at Number 5, their best achievement ever), and "Slaves No More" at Number 73. The compilation does not contain the 1984 RCA début single "Go Public", nor the 1986 single "Don't Be Scared of Me", which didn't chart, but does include 1988 "It Pays to Belong", a wonderful soul song, which also didn't chart. Either the title-track, "Choice?", and the 1989 Number 7 duet with Kym Mazelle, "Wait", are considered today as anticipatory of what would later be defined as the UK garage musical subgenre.
Words and music by Dr. Robert, except track 13 by Dr. Robert/Mick Anker
- "Wait" (1989)
- "Choice?" (1989)
- "Slaves No More" (1989)
- "Celebrate (The Day After You)" (1987)
- "Wicked Ways" (1986)
- "Digging Your Scene" (1986)
- "It Doesn't Have to Be This Way" (1987)
- "Out With Her" (1987)
- "This Is Your Life" (1988)
- "It Pays to Belong" (1988)
- "Wait" (Long) (1988)
- "Choice?" (Long) (1989)
- "Man from Russia" (1984)
- "Atomic Lullaby" (1984)
- "Wildflower" (1984)
- "Forbidden Fruit" (1985)
Additional singles taken from the album
- "Choice?" (1989) [UK Singles Chart: Number 22]
- "Slaves No More" (1989) [UK Singles Chart: Number 73]
Additional singles track listing
- 7" & single cassette: Choice? / Oh Yeah!
- 12" maxi single: Choice? (ReMix) / Choice? (Dub) / Choice?
- Single CD: Choice? (Short) / Choice? (Long) / Oh Yeah!
Slaves No More
- 7" & single cassette: Slaves No More / What's That?
- 12" maxi single: Slaves No More (Long) / Slaves No More (Short) / What's That?
- 2nd 12" maxi single: Slaves No More (Long - Extra Special Remix) / Slaves No More (Short) / What's That?
- Single CD: Slaves No More (Short) / Slaves No More (Long) / What's That?
See The Blow Monkeys's first four albums:
- Limping for a Generation (1984)
- Animal Magic (1986)
- She Was Only a Grocer's Daughter (1987)
- Whoops! There Goes the Neighbourhood (1988)
VHS video release
Choices - The Video Collection was also issued in 1989, to complement the album release.
- Oh Yeah is a previously unreleased non-album track, which does not feature on any album by The Blow Monkeys.
- What's That is a previously unreleased non-album track, which does not feature on any album by The Blow Monkeys.
- Fencat Online: Dr Robert's Official Website.