There’s a few of the CD86 bands still on the go today but most of them are doing so on the back of having broken up but subsequently reforming for love or money.

Today’s lot are an exception.

The Hit Parade formed in 1984 and while there was a nine-year hiatus between 1994 and 2003, they never ever officially called it a day and are still going strong 31 years on and their story is genuinely fascinating. The band consists of Raymond Watts, Matthew Moffatt and Julian Henry. and part of the reason they have never been commercially successful is down to the fact that all three have enjoyed huge success in other careers – Watts as a musician in Germany with harder-edged goth/rock acts, Henry as one of the UK’s leading lights in PR/media/marketing while Moffatt runs his own film lighting company.

Their first six singles, all recorded on their own JSH label, were released between June 1984 and April 1987.  All of them are no highly collectible and all of them received rave reviews in the UK music papers thanks to them being three-minute jangly dancey indie-pop. The singles were compiled onto an LP in June 1988 entitled With Love From The Hit Parade.

In 1991 the band would release material on three labels – Vinyl Japan and Sarah Records in addition to their own imprint .  By 1994, Julian Henry was working alongside Harvey Williams (who was  mentioned in last week’s feature on Another Sunny Day) while the band were out-of-the-blue enjoying chart success in Japan with a song called Hello Hannah Hello, a track only ever available as an LP track in the UK.

Then came the hiatus – the period coinciding with Henry’s meteoric rise to fame in the PR industry – before in 2003 the re-establishment of JSH Records since when the band had released one single in each of 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011 and LPs in 2006, 2012 and 2014.

I’m ashamed to say that I know next to nothing about The Hit Parade and the only things I have in the collection are via compilation albums.  So if any T(n)VV reader wants to contribute something more substantial and meaningful than this cut’n’paste effort of mine, then please be my guest.

Here’s the really decent song that appears on CD86:-

mp3 : The Hit Parade – You Didn’t Love Me Then

It was the band’s fourth single and was released in 1985 with this as the b-side:-

mp3 : The Hit Parade – Huevos Mexicanos