Thursday, July 21, 2022

K-tells Vol. 21


K-tells #21

Welcome to the 80's!

Three FANTASTIC albums all released in 1980.

VA - Rock 80 (K-tel TU 2780 US - TC 265 CAN) (2022 Remastered Expanded Edition) (1980)       Rock 80 was released by K-tel in the US and Canada in 1980.  They each had different track listings.  Highly regarded as being one of the best K-tel releases from this period, much treasured by K-tel fans, I have compiled this set to include the 22 very best song selections from both versions, creating a new running time of 79:55 CD length. The complete US 14 track edition, and 8 taken from the Canadian version.

A few reviews:

Possibly K-tel's best?

A great collection that feels finely tuned to show off the diversity of new wave circa 1979-1980. Probably due to their inclusion here, these songs are imprinted on my musical barometer as the very best of their time. A collector's item to be sure, but if you can't get your hands on this vinyl it's worth it to build a playlist from your CD collection, individual download purchases or at iTunes.

A fantastic 80's compilation for the time period.

I purchased this record new from Two Guys back in 1980 and it introduced me to some great new music. It’s a phenomenal album!

I'd been buying K-tel albums for four years by 1980 and Rock 80 quickly became my favorite of the bunch. If you search for Rock 80 on the interwebs, you will come across dozens of similar stories, Rock 80 holds the number one spot in people's hearts. If this is your first time hearing about Rock 80, you are in luck as it's an amazing collection of tunes.

Rock 80: K-tel's Finest Moment?

Wow, what can I say, this was the first record I ever bought. I lived in Athens GA, in 1980, and this was new wave for Georgia. I must say this though, 'Cars' by Gary Numan made quite the impression on me, as well as Blondie and the Knack, perhaps this is the crowning achievement in the K-tel catalog.

This album certainly brings back fond memories for me, as it was one of the first albums I ever purchased, and I wore it out. Just a great group of songs, and I can hear any one of them on the radio and I'm 14 again, living with my parents again jamming out in my bedroom.

K-tel's Greatest Album: Rock 80

This is the pinnacle of K-tel greatness. Released in 1980, this album introduced me to Pat Benatar, Blondie, the Ramones, Cheap Trick and Joe Jackson.

K-tel’s Rock 80 was the best K-tel album ever made. Willing to fight ya on this one!

David Bowie - The Best of Bowie (K-tel NE 1111 UK) (2021 Remastered Expanded Edition) (1980)       Now here's a real treat and rarity for all Bowie fans and collectors. The Best of Bowie is a compilation album by English singer-songwriter David Bowie, released in 1980 by K-tel. The cover was based on the 12-inch single sleeve design of Bowie's "Fashion". It made No. 3 in the UK Albums Chart.  In addition to including the rare 7" edits of "Fame" and "Golden Years", the compilation contains unique edits of "Life on Mars?" and "Diamond Dogs", ostensibly to allow all 16 tracks to fit on one LP. Early copies of the LP had a sticker on the back cover showing the track listing.

If the sticker was removed, the original track listing could be seen, showing "Drive-In Saturday" (from Aladdin Sane, 1973) as track 7 in place of the live version of "Breaking Glass", which explains the latter's appearance out of chronological sequence here.

The Best of Bowie (K-tel NE 1111), December 1980 (UK) . Initial French and UK pressings incorrectly mention 'Drive-In Saturday' on the sleeve instead of 'Breaking Glass', which explains the chronological misplacement of this live track from Stage. There also is a French mispress (K-tel BLP 81001/NS 4119) that lists 'Breaking Glass' on the sleeve but plays 'Drive-In Saturday' instead and on the B-side replaces 'Young Americans' with 'Beauty And The Beast' and 'Breaking Glass'. Released in a multitude of countries, the most common edition, released in the UK and many other countries, has 7'' single versions of Fame/Golden Years/TVC 15/"Heroes" and unique edits of 'Life on Mars?' and 'Diamond Dogs'.

The Italian edition (K-tel TI 157) is quite different, as it features the full album version of 'Life on Mars?' (instead of an edit fading at 3'36"), the original version of 'John, I'm Only Dancing' (rather than the sax version), the Low version of 'Breaking Glass' (instead of the Stage version), a version of 'Diamond Dogs' that fades at 3'01" (rather than the 4'37" edit), which is actually the Australian Single Edit, the US single version of 'Young Americans' (instead of the LP version), the album versions of 'Fame' and 'Golden Years', and the album version of 'TVC 15' fading at 3'36" (rather than the single edit).

The Spanish edition (K-tel 12L0224 5) contains edited versions of 'Diamond Dogs' (4'26"), Fame (3'17") and Golden Years (3'10").

The Australian/New Zealand edition (K-tel NA 580), finally, has unique edits of 'Diamond Dogs' (4'27"), 'Young Americans' (4'03"), 'Golden Years' (3'43"), 'TVC 15' (4'02") and "Heroes" (5'19").

A Radiospot promo cassette (K-tel RCM 2045) was distributed in The Netherlands, with a DJ announcing the tracks. This cassette erroneously features 'Sweet Thing' instead of 'Diamond Dogs'.

Like all K-tel releases this particular Bowie album has NEVER been released on CD. I have recompiled this compilation from scratch based on the original UK release in the correct chronological running order using the very latest, and highest quality digital remasters from the most recent super deluxe editions, albums and box sets, now including 8 additional bonus tracks from the various versions of the album from around the world.

Radio Active - 20 Electric Hits (Ronco RTL 2049 UK) (2022 Remastered Expanded Edition) (1980)         20 classic UK hits released by Ronco in the UK in 1980. For this 2022 expanded edition, I have added another 2 bonus tracks from a previous UK Ronco compilation album released in late 1979, now making a 22 track album with a new CD running time of 79:00.




Pt.1     Pt.2      Pt.3 


Track lists

VA - Rock 80 (K-tel TU 2780 US - TC 265 CAN) (2022 Remastered Expanded Edition) (1980)

01 Gary Numan Cars (Original 1979 7" Single Version) 3:56

02 Pretenders Brass in Pocket 3:02

03 Sniff 'n' the Tears Driver's Seat (Original 1978 7" Single Edit) 3:39

04 Nick Lowe Cruel to Be Kind 3:29

05 Joe Jackson Is She Really Going Out with Him? 3:35

06 Pat Benatar Heartbreaker 3:29

07 Blondie Call Me (Original 1980 7" Single Edit) 3:30

08 Ramones Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio? 3:51

09 The Knack My Sharona (Original 1979 7" Single Edit) 4:01

10 Cheap Trick I Want You to Want Me (Live at Budokan) (Original 1979 7" Single Version) 3:41

11 Ian Gomm Hold On 2:58

12 Blondie One Way or Another 3:35

13 Pat Benatar We Live for Love (Original 1980 7" Single Edit) 3:34

14 M Pop Muzik (Original 1979 7" Single Edit) 3:18

15 Rush The Spirit of Radio (Bonus Track) 4:56

16 FM Shapes of Things (Bonus Track) 3:01

17 The Babys Back on My Feet Again (Bonus Track) 3:17

18 Ian Hunter Just Another Night (Bonus Track) 4:36

19 April Wine Say Hello (Bonus Track) 2:58

20 UFO Only You Can Rock Me (Original 1978 7" Single Edit) (Bonus Track) 3:30

21 The Motels Total Control (Original 1979 7" Single Edit) (Bonus Track) 3:50

22 Blondie Heart of Glass (Original 1979 7" Single Version) (Bonus Track) 4:09

David Bowie - The Best of Bowie (K-tel NE 1111 UK) (2021 Remastered Expanded Edition) (1980) 

01 David Bowie Space Oddity 5:18

02 David Bowie Life on Mars? (Unique 1980 K-tel Edit) 3:34

03 David Bowie Starman (Original 1972 7" Single Mix) 4:12

04 David Bowie Rock 'n' Roll Suicide 2:58

05 David Bowie John, I'm Only Dancing (1973 7" Sax Version) 2:45

06 David Bowie The Jean Genie (Original 1972 7" Single Mix) 4:05

07 David Bowie Drive-In Saturday 4:30

08 David Bowie Sorrow 2:53

09 David Bowie Diamond Dogs (Unique 1980 K-tel Edit) 4:41

10 David Bowie Young Americans (Album Version) 5:13

11 David Bowie Fame (Original 1975 7" Single Edit) 3:34

12 David Bowie Golden Years (Original 1975 7" Single Edit) 3:27

13 David Bowie TVC 15 (Original 1976 7" Single Edit) 3:33

14 David Bowie Sound and Vision 3:03

15 David Bowie "Heroes" (Original 1977 7" Single Edit) 3:35

16 David Bowie Breaking Glass (1978 Live 'Stage' Version) 3:30

17 David Bowie Boys Keep Swinging 3:18

18 David Bowie Life on Mars? (Bonus Track) 3:50

19 David Bowie John, I'm Only Dancing (Original 1972 7" Single Version) (Bonus Track) 2:46

20 David Bowie Diamond Dogs (Australian Single Edit) (Bonus Track) 3:00

21 David Bowie Sweet Thing (Bonus Track) 3:38

22 David Bowie Young Americans (Original 1975 7" Single Edit) (Bonus Track) 3:13

23 David Bowie Fame (Album Version) (Bonus Track) 4:16

24 David Bowie Golden Years (Album Version) (Bonus Track) 4:03

25 David Bowie Beauty and the Beast (Bonus Track) 3:36

26 David Bowie Breaking Glass ('Low' Album Version) (Bonus Track) 1:52

VA - Radio Active - 20 Electric Hits (Ronco RTL 2049 UK) (2022 Remastered Expanded Edition) (1980)

01 Ottawan D.I.S.C.O. (Original 1979 7" Single English Version) 3:35

02 Black Slate Amigo (Original 1980 7" Single Edit) 4:04

03 Robert Palmer Johnny and Mary 3:56

04 Gillan Trouble 2:41

05 Gary Numan I Die: You Die 3:43

06 Genesis Misunderstanding 3:13

07 The Korgis If It's Alright with You Baby (Original 1980 7" Single Edit) 3:46

08 The Selecter The Whisper 3:00

09 Surface Noise Dancin' on a Wire (Original 1980 7" Single Edit) 3:46

10 Gibson Brothers Metropolis 3:40

11 Kelly Marie Feels Like I'm in Love (Original 1979 7" Single Version) 3:14

12 Linx You're Lying (Original 1980 7" Single Edit) 3:47

13 Odyssey Use It Up and Wear It Out (Original 1980 7" Single Edit) 3:51

14 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Enola Gay 3:31

15 Manfred Mann's Earth Band Lies (Through the 80s) (Original 1980 7" Single Edit) 4:14

16 XTC Generals and Majors (Original 1980 7" Single Edit) 3:41

17 Black Sabbath Paranoid 2:48

18 Locksmith Unlock the Funk 4:28

19 Sue Wilkinson You Gotta Be a Hustler If You Wanna Get On 2:28

20 UB40 I Think It's Going to Rain Today 3:42

21 Dollar Who Were You With in the Moonlight (Bonus Track) 4:07

22 The Boomtown Rats I Don't Like Mondays (Original 1979 7" Single Edit) (Bonus Track) 3:45




  1. Thank you so much for your work on Rock 80. It was by far my favorite K-tel release.

    1. Hi Rock 'n' Roll Steve.
      Nice of you to say so.

  2. Thursday comes around again with another cornucopia of great vintage tunes!!! Thanks K & BB! SPx

    1. Thursdays come around quick, don't they, SleepyPete.