Jonathan King

Jonathan King's Greatest Hits: Past, Present and Future

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Celebrating ten years of mischief and hits, Jonathan King's Greatest Hits: Past, Present and Future is a 12-track collection concentrating exclusively on King's own releases, as opposed to the mountains that he unleashed under a wealth of aliases and pseudonyms. For that reason, it is not the most obviously exciting of the many collections that have since emerged. But it is definitely among the most enjoyable. How many times, after all, does one really need to own "Johnny Reggae"? "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" notwithstanding, King's own visits to the U.K. chart tended to be minor hits at best, as "Let It All Hang Out" ran out at Number 26, "Lazybones" collapsed at Number 23, "Flirt" flickered to Number 22. "Cherry Cherry" did well in Europe, and "The King of the Hooks" deserved to be massive, even though it wasn't. Not until 1975, the tenth anniversary of his first chart hit, did King return to the Top Ten, when "Una Paloma Blanca" flew him to Number Five -- the reason, one assumes, why it was chosen to open this collection. Each of those other hits is here, of course, together with a smattering of B-sides and LP tracks, generally selected for their own innate familiarity -- "Million Dollar Bash," "Angel of the Morning," and a Beatle-baiting "He's So Fine" were all hits, albeit not by King himself. Keen students of the arcane might also note the similarities between this album's packaging, and the same label's treatment of 10cc's 100cc collection, but the comparison is not visual alone. King discovered and nurtured 10cc, of course. But he also shared their own taste for melody, invention, wickedness and wit and, though fans of the band seldom spare a thought for the man; among the myriad wellsprings from which 10cc's inspiration sprang, King was certainly the deepest.