REVIEW: Helix – Over 60 Minutes With… (1989)

Welcome back to GREATEST HITS WEEK! This week we are looking at different, interesting hits albums from various bands. Today…just gimme an R!

Monday:  EXTREME – The Best of Extreme: An Accidental Collication of Atoms? (1997)
Tuesday: JUDAS PRIEST – The Best of Judas Priest (1978/2000 Insight Series)
Wednesday: JUDAS PRIEST – Greatest Hits (2008 Steel Box)


Scan_20150809 (5)HELIX – Over 60 Minutes With… (1989 Capital)

It’s always risky buying a compilation album from a label “series”.  Yesterday, we looked at a Judas Priest compilation from Sony’s Steel Book Series.  Over 60 Minutes With… was a CD-only (no tapes, no records) series by Capital/EMI in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  I remember seeing it over Christmas break in ’89, and trying to decide whether to buy it, or Ace Frehley’s Trouble Walkin’.  (I went with the Ace, and saved the Helix for a month or two later.)  I was confused:  Here was a brand new Helix CD, with Brent “The Doctor” Doerner right there on the front cover.  But hadn’t he left the band?  He had, but that was how I could tell this was a semi-official release, driven by the label.

The difference between Over 60 Minutes With…Helix and all the other label compilations is that this one is really, really good.  In fact to this day, it is still the one of the best Helix compilations assembled (and it was the first!).  Here are some reasons:

1. Rare tracks! Three of them in fact. You get demos for “Give It To You” (a new song re-recorded for the Back For Another Taste CD), “Jaws Of The Tiger” (re-recorded for B-Sides) and “Everybody Pays The Price” (later to be the B-side to “The Storm”).

2. Lots of hits. 21 tracks are contained within, and a good solid six of them were hit singles.

Those two points are enough reason to buy this CD (especially the first).  Let’s keep listening.

3. Rocker-to-ballad ratio is a generous 17 : 4.  Keep me mind, Helix ballads tend to rock anyway.  “Never Wanna Lose You” gets pretty heavy come chorus time!

PIE CHARTThanks to Geoff over at the 1001 Albums in 10 Years for the “Excel”lent inspiration!

4. Loads of tunes from No Rest for the Wicked.  When this CD came out in ’89, that album was unavailable on CD and scarce on cassette.  This CD has seven songs from No Rest!  That album, loaded with rockers heavy and melodic, is still one of their very best today.  Even though there were only three unreleased songs on Over 60 Minutes With…, there were tons that were brand new to me.

That considered, Over 60 Minutes With… has one serious flaw.   The record company only included songs from the first three Capitol Helix albums. Obviously nothing from the independent albums Breaking Loose or White Lace & Black Leather were up for grabs.  Strangely though, 1987’s Capitol Wild In The Streets CD is strangely missed.  The inclusion of one or two tracks from that album would have been appreciated.

Flaw aside, the liner notes are informative and the track listing is still generous. You certainly don’t want to miss album tracks such as the awesome “You Keep Me Rocking”, the raunchy “Dirty Dog” or the slinky “Check Out The Love”.  They are here along with many others. Pick this up, enjoy it, and then explore some of Helix’s proper albums, such as No Rest for the Wicked.  This is great, but it’s only the beginning!  Gimme an R indeed.

4.5/5 R’s

Scan_20150809 (6)

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21 comments

  1. Helix was another band I should have listened to more back in the 80s but didn’t. Obviously I should rectify this but I can see me going bankrupt buying all the albums you and other bloggers have been featuring lately.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah your right Mikey! For all my ragging on comps this is a good one. I picked this one up in Toronto Dec 1989 when I flew down there to see McCartney at the Skydome. At the time I had zero Helix on cd so this was a welcome sight! The fact that the track listing had deep tracks(Check Out The Love In Me is a standout!) was awesome to see. Young And Wreckless,Dirty Dog plus some unreleased stuff as U have mentioned……for a comp this is Killer…no Filler!
    Good call on Wild In The Streets being left off,perhaps as it was only 2 years earlier it was released?
    I dunno but whoever the Suit was who put this together…..Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is an effective rocker: ballad ratio!
    Friends who love the hip ballads always hope they’ll tilt the ratio a bit, but realistically, they know they’ll get one of scared or wheat kings but not both.
    So close to 5 Rs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have them all. I reviewed Best of 83-2012 including the Leafs single:

      https://mikeladano.com/2012/09/16/review-helix-best-of-1983-2012-anthology-2012/

      https://mikeladano.com/2012/09/17/review-all-i-want-for-christmas-is-the-leafs-to-win-the-cup/

      The 30th anniversary one is also good but has a lot of weird and lesser known tracks. Delilah by Tom Jones…a joke tune called I Just Wanna Be Stoned…. so it’s not really a “hits” one per se. I’d say more like best of the rest of.

      Like

    1. Yup! Wilcox, Red Rider, Luba, Gordon Lightfoot…they all had Over 60 Minutes discs.

      I don’t know if any/many of those had rare tracks, like Helix. I know Red Rider did not, but I also know that CD rocked!

      Like

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