The YouTube Files – 80s music compilation adverts.

Here’s a look at some more memorable TV advertising campaigns. There have been lots of adverts for music compilations over the years, this isn’t going to be a review of the ones for the likes of Now and Hits though, but those rather strange adverts that seemed to be about two minutes long and were usually shown rather late at night on ITV in the 90s along with the chatlines adverts (and yes ITV did once have adverts and shows overnight). There were many of these made, but this piece will concentrate on a couple that I remember for 80s music compilations that I have tracked down on YouTube. vlcsnap-00579

Firstly, there was one that featured the biggest hits of 1986, which is “the ultimate collection”, according to the not very enthusiastic voiceover, who is most probably someone who used to play these songs on the radio back in the 80s. There are 24 classic hits including “Manic Monday”, “Venus” (hooray), ooh and “Breakout” as well! The advert also includes the famous phrase “it’s not available in the shops”. I suppose we should just be grateful that they are actually the original versions and not dodgy covers, so why not call now even though it’s about 2am and bag yourself a bargain (plus p & p), available on two CDs or cassettes if you want. And if you enjoy it, why not also buy the compilations for 1980, 1981, 1982… vlcsnap-00580

The other advert is probably the most famous of these campaigns, a 90-second epic for the 80s compilation “Young At Heart”, with 60 songs on 4 CDs. “What happens when you play this?” asks a voice at the start. Well it’s all of the songs that make you feel great when you heard them on the radio. If you know who Paul Hardcastle is you might be interested in this. This advert is well remembered because it featured random people miming along to the hits such as “Kids In America”, “Fade To Grey”, and the chart-topping “Video Killed The Radio Star”. vlcsnap-00581

Other highlights include someone getting rather excited by “Come On Eileen”, “Vienna”, and of course “Da Da Da” (it also reminds me of the time when I was in a rather odd mood late one night and put a picture from this advert on Twitter saying something like “who remembers Robson And Jerome?”, doing a parody of those “do you remember this?” accounts by deliberately putting a picture of someone totally different, well I thought that it was funny). You can’t afford to miss it. vlcsnap-00584

Did anyone ever actually buy these, I certainly didn’t, but it does remind you of the days when CDs and cassettes where a major part of people’s music collections. It is odd how these things stay in your mind though, and of course, the old comment could be made that these adverts were more entertaining than the actual shows that they were inbetween. Please allow 28 days for delivery.


2 thoughts on “The YouTube Files – 80s music compilation adverts.

  1. Abbie Walton says:

    Adam, they really did put in some effort into these compilations; they appeared a lot on teleshopping slots on early mornings on almost every cable channel, provided by Time Life. Why wasn’t available in stores?
    Speaking of music CD adverts, the weekend newspapers used to give away free CDs inside their telegraphs, complete with The Daily Express paperboy saying “Express Delivery!” at the end, they were on every ad break on ITV1 in the mid Noughties. Why have they stopped doing that now?
    When it comes to parents’ days, does the album producers think that every Mum loves power ballads and that every Dad loves rock songs? Not all of them do really. I’d rather have Get Shaky by The Ian Carey Project on a Father’s Day compilation rather than Smoke on the Water for the gazillionth time!


    • I never bought the compilations myself, I just remember they were advertised so often, and a two-minute long advert seemed so unusual. I presume newspapers stopped giving away free CDs because it was around the time that downloads became the biggest way that people bought music, and they probably had featured every song that they could licence.


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