"All We Need Is A Hit" - Mike & The Mechanics "Hits" album and video reviewed by Alan Hewitt.

Well, it hardly seems like eleven years since Mike's part-time band The Mechanics burst onto the music scene, but here we are with a compilation of their finest moments. The only disappointment being the lack of any new material on this disc but with a "Hits" title, surely no one could have expected anything else, although the band's version of "Revolution" by The Beatles would have been a nice inclusion! Anyway, if anything was required to convince new listeners that the band were worthy of listen or two, then this package certainly fulfils that task.

Beginning the process with the band's latest release, a re-working of the 1985 classic "All I Need Is A Miracle", which has achieved a greater degree of success now than on its initial release over ten years ago. Mind you, the band have a far higher profile now and the single proves that a good tune will always have staying power!

"Over My Shoulder", "Word Of Mouth" and "The Living Years" follow and form a neat triptych of contrasting music; from the acoustic balladeering of the former, the pure rock power of "Word Of Mouth" and the passionate intensity of "The Living Years", and proving quit plainly that the band's success was no mere flash in the pan. In fact, one thing that this album proves is that it isn't necessary to have a pretty face and dance moves to succeed in the world of music. Amazingly enough, the band have achieved their success with a minimum of hype and an excess of musical talent, which makes their music as unique as it is. The remaining tracks on the album only go to show that the band's strengths far outweigh any weaknesses, and on this showing, The Mechanics will have many more outings from the garage in the future!

Accompanying the album is a video compilation of just about all the promotional videos from the four Mechanics albums. Anyone who bought the "A Closer Look" video back in 1990 may be surprised to see the videos from this compilation here as well. However this is a much more representative compilation including several videos that were seldom, if ever, screened in the UK on TV including the elusive videos for "A Time And Place", "Everybody Gets A Second Chance" and "Stop Baby" as well as the films for "Seeing Is Believing" and "Taken In", both of which were only released as singles in the USA.

It was also great to see the late Roy Kinnear in his cameo appearances as the band's shabby manager in "All I Need Is A Miracle" and "Taken In". As an accompaniment to the album, this package is well thought out and will certainly satisfy older fans who may not have seen many of these videos and to newer fans it will give a fuller view of what Mike & The Mechanics are all about: great songs and great performances!

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