top of page
Kim Wilde Box Set.jpg

THE RAK YEARS 1981 - 1983


Cherry Red

Fact: Kim Wilde is the highest charting British female solo artist of the 1980s.


It’s hard to describe the impact Kim Wilde had on the British music scene and record buyers in the 1980s. When her debut single, Kids In America, was released in January 1981, music lovers were used to The Police, ABBA, Ottowan and Barbra Streisand. John Lennon’ assassination was still on everyone’s mind, it having happened just a few weeks earlier and although Blondie were still putting out great records, they were seemingly inaccessible to you and me – Pop Royalty. Nothing wrong with any of them but the kids needed someone to relate to. Enter Kim, the girl next door blonde bombshell with an icy look that melted your heart, an attitude that said ‘Don’t you dare!’ and a voice that we could relate to. To say she turned heads is akin to Noah saying ‘It looks like rain’.


Kim recorded three albums with Rak Records and then moved over to MCA. They are here, complete with B-sides, outtakes and the singles that were not on albums, the discs being housed in gatefold sleeves with album replica artwork. There is also a bonus disc of remixes done in the spirit of the eighties that pushes your hi-fi to the max, a whopping 48 page booklet with all the lyrics, extensive liner notes and some unpublished photos, the latter of which will make you fall in love with her all over again. That lot is all housed in delightful lift-off lid box with a gorgeous print finish.


There have been Kim compilations before of course but nothing like this. Cherry Red have gone to town on this set and it is unlikely ever to be bettered – certainly not in my lifetime – and with Kim now out and about again, singing her greatest after a long hiatus, this box is testament to her beginnings and enduring popularity.


Track List (*Non-album Bonus Tracks)

Disc 1 - Kim Wilde

Water On Glass

Our Town

Everything We Know

Young Heroes

Kids in America

Chequered Love


You’ll Never Be So Wrong

Falling Out

Tuning In Tuning On



He Will Be There*


Disc 2 - Select


Words Fell Down

Action City

View from a Bridge

Just a Feeling

Chaos at the Airport

Take Me Tonight

Can You Come Over

Wendy Sadd


Cambodia – Reprise

Child Come Away*

Bitter Is Better*

Watching For Shapes*

Just Another Guy*


Disc 3 - Catch As Catch Can

House of Salome

Back Street Joe

Stay Awhile

Love Blonde

Dream Sequence

Dancing in the Dark

Shoot to Disable

Can You Hear It


Sing It Out For Love

Rain On*

Back Seat Driver*


Disc 4 - Special Disco Mixes († 2024 Mix)

Kids in America (Luke Mornay Remix)

Chequered Love (Matt Pop Extended Version)

Water on Glass (Project K Soundtrack)

Cambodia (Matt Pop Extended Version)

View from a Bridge (Project K Soundtrack)

Take Me Tonight (Luke Mornay Profondo Giallo Mix)

Child Come Away (Matt Pop Remix)

Love Blonde (Project K’s Limelight Mix)

Dancing in the Dark (Luke Mornay Moonlight Mix)

House of Salome (Luke Mornay Mix of the Seven Veils)

Love and Fury.jpg



Cherry Red

Telstar hit No.1 in the UK in September 1962. It also hit No. 1 in the USA around the same time and also topped the charts in Belgium, Canada and New Zealand. It went Top 5 in handful of other countries. Their follow-up, Globetrotter, was Top 5 in the UK the following January and then came Robot, Ice Cream Van and Dragonfly, all of which charted in their home country but to descending lesser positions. A further nine singles were released in the next three years but Pop music had moved on and none charted. We were teased late last year with the 10” vinyl release, The Telstar Story, from The Tea Chest Tapes, and now, here we have their box set. Playing through, it shows there was so much more to them than that hatful of 7” releases. It paints a far bigger canvas of how they contributed to Joe’s recordings and how deserving they are of their place in British Pop history,


Disc 1 – The Original Telstar Sessions

The first disc focuses on the first two singles – Love And Fury being their unsuccessful debut – and their first two EPs. A third EP can also be included here as Decca put together the first two singles onto one disc after Telstar became a hit. As per the previous releases in the Tea Chest series, we have alternate takes, backing tracks and recordings that have been returned to their original speed. It is another peek behind the curtains of Joe’s mind and how he worked but there is a caveat: Cherry Red have avoided including very few of the actual final master releases so if you are looking for ‘The Tornados Greatest Hits’ look elsewhere.


Track List

1 Telstar (Alternate Edit)
2 Telstar (Backing)*
3 Telstar (Pre-overdubs/ Original Speed)
4 Red Roses And A Sky Of Blue
5 Red Roses And A Sky Of Blue (Backing Take 9)*
6 Chasing Moonbeams (Original Speed)*
7 Earthy
8 Swinging Beefeater (Original Speed)*
9 Swinging Beefeater (Alternate Version 1)*

10 Swinging Beefeater (Alternate Version 2)*
11 Theme From A Summer Place (Original Speed/No SFX)*
12 Love And Fury (Take 1)*
13 Love And Fury (Pre- Overdubs)*
14 Love And Fury (Guitar Overdub Take 4)*
15 Dreamin' On A Cloud (Extended Fade)*
16 Ridin' The Wind (Alternate Version Mix 2)*
17 Ridin' The Wind (Backing Take 7)*
18 The Breeze And I (Original Speed)*
19 Jungle Fever (Extended Ending)*
20 Jungle Fever (Backing)*
21 Jungle Fever (Pre-FX)*
22 Popeye Twist
23 Popeye Twist (Backing)*
(* denotes previously unreleased on all discs)


Disc 2 – Away From It All sessions

The twelve tracks on disc one were eventually compiled onto one album. Released in 1962, The Original Telstar – The Sounds of the Tornadoes, was technically their debut, however, that LP was only released in the USA and Australasia so their first proper LP was Away From It All, released in the UK in November 1962; it peaked at No. 4 in the UK charts.  Again, apart from three tracks, Cherry Red have avoided putting on the release masters (presumably they have plans to release remasters of all the originals in the future) so we have various parts that eventually contributed to the finished product.


Track List

1 Indian Brave (Extended Fade Out)*
2 Flycatcher
3 Dreams Do Come True
4 Dreams Do Come True (Backing)*
5 Lullaby For Giulia (Original Speed)*
6 Lullaby For Giulia (Backing Take 3)*
7 Costa Monger (Original Speed)*
8 Costa Monger (Backing Take 2)*
9 Lonely Paradise (Original Speed)*
10 Lonely Paradise (Backing)*
11 Chattanooga Choo Choo (Original Speed)*
12 Rip It Up
13 Rip It Up (Vocal Take 2)*
14 Alan's Tune (Original Speed)*
15 Alan's Tune (Backing Take 3)*
16 Cootenanny (Original Speed)*
17 Cootenanny (Backing Take 10)*
18 Night Rider (Original Speed/ No SFX)*
19 Hymn For Teenagers (Original Speed)*
20 Hymn For Teenagers (Backing Take 2)*


Disc 3 – Single Sessions Part 1

The first of the two discs dedicated to the Single Sessions are singles 2-8 (Love And Fury is absent) as well as Tornado Rock, a 1963 EP which has their first attempt at singing. Given that the Telstar satellite was launched on 10th July 1962, this disc spans their output of about eighteen months, Hot Pot c/w Joy Stick being released in early 1964. Aside from Telstar, none of the tracks on this disc ever appeared on an LP.


Track List

1 Telstar (SFX Tape)
2 Telstar (Pre-FX Sped Up Version)*
3 Globetrotter (Original Speed)*
4 Globetrotter (Mix #2)*
5 Globetrotter (Backing Take 5)*
6 Locomotion With Me (Original Speed)*
7 Locomotion With Me (Backing Take 2)*
8 Robot (Mix #4)*
9 Robot (Phase 1 Take 1)*
10 Robot (Phase 2 Take 11)*
11 Life On Venus (Intro Speech Session)*
12 Life On Venus (Intro SFX Take 2)*
13 Life On Venus (Rehearsal Take)*
14 Life On Venus (Backing Take 4/5)*
15 Life On Venus (Alternate Mix)*
16 The Ice Cream Man (Original Speed)*
17 The Ice Cream Man (Backing Take 4)*
18 Theme From 'The Scales Of Justice' (Alternate Edit)*
19 Theme From 'The Scales Of Justice' (Backing Take 2)*
20 Theme From 'The Scales Of Justice' (Backing Take 11)*
21 Ready Teddy
22 My Babe (Backing Take 3)*
23 Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Alternate Vocal)*
24 Long Tall Sally (Lead Vocal Take 3)*
25 Dragonfly (Take 7)*
26 Hot Pot
27 Hot Pot (Backing Take 5)*
28 Joy Stick (Original Speed)*
29 Joy Stick (Backing Take 2)*
30 Joy Stick (Alternate Version Mix #4)*


Disc 4 – Single Sessions Part 2

More Single Sessions, this time from mid-1964 until their inevitable demise. When Early Bird was released in May 1965, (Early Bird was the nickname of Intelsat 1, the first communications satellite that went into orbit in April 1965) there were no original members left, each having gone their separate ways. Joe Meek kept the name, formed a new band, recorded the track but the public fascination with space communications was gone and instrumental groups were out; guitar groups, the British Invasion of as it became to be known, was taking over the world. Nevertheless, Joe was creating some incredible music using techniques even George Martin hadn’t come up with. Fantastic recordings, it’s just that he just wasn’t in vogue.


Track List

1 Monte Carlo (Original Speed)*
2 Monte Carlo (Organ Take 11)*
3 Blue, Blue Blue Beat (Backing Take 1)*
4 Exodus (Mix #2)*
5 Blackpool Rock (Backing Take 5)*
6 Blackpool Rock (Organ Take 7 with Alternate Intro)*
7 Granada (Mix #7)*
8 Ragunboneman (Vocal Double Take 1)*
9 Ragunboneman (Backing Take 5)*
10 Early Bird (Original Speed/No SFX)*
11 Early Bird (Backing Take 5)*
12 Stompin' Through The Rye (Backing Take 3)*
13 Stompin' Through The Rye (Overdubs Take 14)*
14 Stingray (Bubbles Take 1)*
15 Stingray (Backing Vocals Take 1)*
16 Pop Art Goes Mozart (Backing)*
17 Pop Art Goes Mozart (Overdubs Take 8)*
18 Pop Art Goes Mozart (Guitar Session)*
19 Pop Art Goes Mozart (Overdubs Only)*
20 Too Much In Love To Hear (Vocal Double Take 5)*
21 Too Much In Love To Hear (Alternate Vocal Take 3)*
22 Is That A Ship I Hear (Backing Take 4)*
23 Is That A Ship I Hear (Overdubs Take 1)*
24 Do You Come Here Often (Backing/No Organ)*
25 Do You Come Here Often (Original Speed)*
26 Do You Come Here Often (Chat Tape)*


Disc 5 – Demos, Unreleased and Curios

How on earth Joe’s musicians managed to interpret his – let’s be honest – dreadful drunk-karaoke, cacophonous warbles is credit to them but without them, we would not have had the marvellous recordings that were final release. It bounced both ways; Joe presented his demo, the band worked it out, Joe nurtured and polished it to perfection. Priceless recordings that have survived. Disc five isn’t all ‘rather painful to listen to tapes’ though as the Billy Fury recordings are testament to. Four tracks, one take each and sheer class. Tracks from the Just For Fun film are also here as are an amazing assortment of oddities as the title suggests. Best of all are the tracks that have been circulating on bootlegs for years, presented here in pristine audio.


Track List

1 Telstar (Meek Demo 1)
2 Telstar (Meek Demo 2)*
3 Globetrotter (Meek Demo)*
4 Globetrotter (Meek/Adams Demo Phase 2)*
5 Robot (Meek/Adams Writing Session)*
6 Ragunboneman (Meek Demo)*
7 Ragunboneman (Adams Demo)*
8 Indian Brave (Adams Demo)*
9 Is That A Ship I Hear (Meek Demo Take 6)*
10 Mean Woman Blues (with Billy Fury)*
11 Halfway To Paradise (with Billy Fury)*
12 Go Go Go (Move On Down The Line) (with Billy Fury)*
13 I'll Never Find Another You (with Billy Fury)*
14 All The Stars in The Sky (Original Speed)*
15 Shake Down (Backing Take 1)*
16 Shake Down (Keyboard Take 2)*
17 Little Horror (Take 17)*
18 Party Spirit
19 Sidewalk Serenade
20 Lullaby Of The Stars*
21 Alright Alright (Take 3)*
22 Hurtin’ Inside (Backing Take 3)*
23 Hurtin’ Inside (Overdubs Take 5)*
24 Fortune Teller (Backing Take 2)*
25 Fortune Teller (Overdubs Take 8)*
26 You Can Make It If You Try (Backing Take 4)*
27 You Can Make It If You Try (Vocal Take 7)*
28 Lawrence Of Arabia (Stereo)*
29 No More You And Me (Rehearsal Take)*
30 No More You And Me (Mix #8)*
31 You Always Did What You Wanted (Take 2)*
32 You Always Did What You Wanted (Take 3)*


The clamshell box set also contains a highly informative, 24 page booklet with extensive liner notes by The Joe Meek Society’s Craig Newton. All in all, everything you could want on The Tornados.

bottom of page