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Takes on the Hits

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
This might be slightly inferior to 1991's Best of Tracey Ullman on Rhino, as that compilation had a few more tracks 20 to Takes on the Hits' 17. Each of the anthologies has songs not on the other, but either one will satisfy the basic needs of someone looking for an Ullman overview. Takes on the Hits, most importantly, has all five of her British Top 40 hits: "They Don't Know" which also made the Top Ten stateside, "Break-a-Way," "Move Over Darling," "My Guy," and "Sunglasses." Filling out the picture are various other A-sides and B-sides and cuts from her two 1980s albums, though only one of the songs the 1983 B-side "Dancing in the Dark" didn't appear on either of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
This might be slightly inferior to 1991's Best of Tracey Ullman on Rhino, as that compilation had a few more tracks 20 to Takes on the Hits' 17. Each of the anthologies has songs not on the other, but either one will satisfy the basic needs of someone looking for an Ullman overview. Takes on the Hits, most importantly, has all five of her British Top 40 hits: "They Don't Know" which also made the Top Ten stateside, "Break-a-Way," "Move Over Darling," "My Guy," and "Sunglasses." Filling out the picture are various other A-sides and B-sides and cuts from her two 1980s albums, though only one of the songs the 1983 B-side "Dancing in the Dark" didn't appear on either of those LPs. While she might not have had the greatest voice, and her material and production might have been extremely derivative of 1960s girl group pop, this does have an ebullience that lifts it above the mere novelty or period piece. In fact, it's surprisingly worthwhile, if not as good as quality, genuine 1960s girl group sounds.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/10/2002
  • Label: Varese Fontana
  • UPC: 030206637625
  • Catalog Number: 066376

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tracey Ullman Primary Artist
Kirsty MacColl Background Vocals
The Sapphires Background Vocals
Steve Bloomfield Musician
Peter Collins Background Vocals
The Flying Pickets Background Vocals
Geraint Watkins Musician
Shirley Lewis Background Vocals
John Canham Musician
B.J. Cole Musician
Richard Edwards Musician
Kay Garner Background Vocals
Jakko M. Jakszyk Musician
Ruby James Background Vocals
Katie Kissoon Background Vocals
Dave Land Musician
Judd Lander Musician
Roger McKew Musician
Charlie Morgan Musician
Jo Partridge Musician
Gavin Povey Musician
Andy Richards Musician
Rosemarie Robinson Background Vocals
Don Snow Musician
Miriam Stockley Background Vocals
Clare Torry Background Vocals
Wealthy Tarts Background Vocals
Paul Westwood Musician
Paul "Wix" Wickens Musician
Terry Williams Musician
Chris Wyles Musician
Joy Yates Background Vocals
Dinesh Musician
Graham Edwards Musician
Doug Taylor Musician
Robin Bolt Musician
Fred Percer Musician
Alison Thomas Background Vocals
Stewart Curtis Musician
Mark Nevin Musician
Margo Buchanan Background Vocals
Simon Edwards Musician
Technical Credits
Kirsty MacColl Producer
Peter Collins Producer
Terry Melcher Composer
Deborah Allen Composer
Rory Michael Bourke Composer
John Burns Engineer
Philip Chapman Engineer
Barry Farmer Engineer
Phil Harding Engineer
Julian Mendelsohn Engineer
George "Shadow" Morton Composer
Steve O'Donnell Producer
Gavin Povey Producer, Engineer
Don Snow Musical Director
Graham "Suggs" McPherson Composer
Rafe Van Hoy Composer
Paul "Wix" Wickens Musical Director
Bill Pitzonka Liner Notes, Art Direction
Joe Lubin Composer
David D.R. Robinson Producer
Hal Kanter Composer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    '60s girlgroup meets '80s pop

    Ullman's canny mix of coy '60s girlgroup pop and moderne rock-of-the-80s production led to a singing career that was more of a detour (from her comedic acting) than a planned trip. Even more unusually, her early work found its home on one of the UK's most unusual indies (and the original home of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe's solo work), Stiff Records. The results, as documented on this compilation, included a string of UK hits, a top-10 in the U.S., a pair of albums and some fine B-sides. ¶ Ullman's songlist includes a few originals penned for her by Kirsty MacColl (including the title tracks for both of Ullman's LPs, "You Broke My Heart in 17 Places" and "You Caught Me Out") and producers Peter Collins and Phil Chapman (the "Iko-Iko"-like "Dancing in the Dark"). She also remade several songs from her label's catalog, including MacColl's "They Don't Know" (which gave Ullman a #8 in the U.S.) and Madness' ska-fueled "My Girl" (retitled "My Guy" for Ullman). ¶ The bulk of Ullman's catalog, however, consisted of 60s girlgroup and girl-singer songs such as Sandy Shaw's "Long Live Love," Dusty Springfield's "I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten" and "Little By Little," Doris Day's "Move Over Darling," Marcie Blaine's "Bobby's Girl," Connie Francis' "Where the Boys Are," and The Shangri-Las "Give Him a Great Big Kiss." All were produced with a big studio sound that nodded to Phil Spector (and the drama of Shadow Morton), but kept its feet planted firmly in the aural conventions of '80s radio. ¶ Varese's seventeen track collection joins a pair of earlier Ullman compilations, both titled "The Best of Tracey Ullman." Rhino's 20-track collection was originally issued in 1992, and Metro Music's 21-track disc dropped earlier this year; both are still in print. All three collections include the well-known hits and album sides, leading to significant overlap. This disc includes three tracks ("Little By Little," "Where the Boys Are" and "Alone") not anthologized on the other releases.

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