2CD set of 12" mixes 1979-1984 expertly remastered with superb sound. This collection of 12-inch versions of Sparks work pays homage to the extended mixes that were often contrived in the studio for use in discos. They found success in Europe in 1979 working with Italian-born producer Giorgio Moroder who, with Pete Bellotte, had turned US singer Donna Summer into a megastar with his hypnotically repetitive Eurodisco instrumental style. Beat The Clock and Tryouts For The Human Race were early results. They then moved on to register US dancefloor hits with the likes of I Predict and Cool Places - a collaboration with Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Gos.
The Billy Ocean Collection, released through Sony in the U.K., contains material that predates Ocean's move to Jive and the singer's subsequent U.S. mainstream breakthrough. Prior to the likes of "Caribbean Queen" and "Suddenly," he was more popular in the U.K., recording for the GTO label and scoring late-'70s hits with "Love Really Hurts Without You" (number two in the U.K., but also a Top Ten club hit in the U.S.), "L.O.D. (Love on Delivery)," and "Stop Me (If You've Heard It All Before)." The disc also includes some highlights from his early-'80s albums, including "Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)" – an excellent slice of slick disco-funk that reached number seven on the Black Singles chart. For an overview of Ocean's entire career, The Ultimate Collection (2004) is the place to go, but The Billy Ocean Collection demonstrates that he had a lot going for him prior to full-on U.S. stardom.