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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jam-packed to capacity - All the hits and amazing bonus tracks
This review is for:Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean
First thing to say here before going into details is that this is a fantastic value 2CD set that really goes the extra mile in attempting to give the fans a quality product. I highly recommend it and give it 5 stars because I cannot think of any time there has been better value for money on a CD. The best...
Published on 13 Sept. 2012 by Mr. D

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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HAZELL
I'd really like this to be a three and a half star award.
Great old songs from when melodies were an integral part of the song too. Shame it doesn't include her Bon Jovi cover song.
Published on 12 Dec. 2012 by Nic Jay


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jam-packed to capacity - All the hits and amazing bonus tracks, 13 Sept. 2012
By 
Mr. D "Mr. D" - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean (Audio CD)
This review is for:Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean
First thing to say here before going into details is that this is a fantastic value 2CD set that really goes the extra mile in attempting to give the fans a quality product. I highly recommend it and give it 5 stars because I cannot think of any time there has been better value for money on a CD. The best thing is hearing all these tracks in glorious digital quality, finally replacing those well-played vinyl records. The photos of all the record covers in the booklet are a nice touch too, particularly underneath when you go to take out disc 2. A big thanks to Music Club for this CD and to Tom Parker who never lets the fans down when he is involved in these projects (and no, I don't know him, I just see his name around on the CD's and the Hit Factory Forum).

This release concentrates on "The Very Best" of Hazell Dean, which is her singles from the Proto label and the EMI/Lisson Stock Aitken Waterman/PWL years. To have all of Hazell's 7" single versions from this period in one place for the first time on CD is a joy in itself. I was able to cross 3 items from my wants list also, which were the 12" versions of "Evergreen" & "Jealous Love", plus the original 12" Dance mix of "No Fool (For Love)" which should have been on Cherry Pop's reissue of "Heart First", but the wrong mix was included. I wondered if it would ever see the light of day after that, so it is good to have it here along with the 7" version which has also not been released on CD before. The "first time on CD" delights don't stop there though, because we also get the fantastic Hi-NRG romp; "Better Off Without You (Touch Of Leather Mix)" from the Remix 12", the 7" version of "Turn It Into Love" (not much different, just seems to have the drum roll removed from the intro - I prefer it with the drum roll), and 2 alternative 12" mixes of "Who's Leaving Who" & "Maybe (We Should Call It a Day)". The latter is very similar to the original 12" version. The main differences are more chorus and less instrumental towards the end and a totally different section in the middle from just over 3 minutes where there is a "we say the same things - we say the same things" sampling section over a drum break, more stuttering stabs similar to the intro and the chorus acapella over just beats. I actually think that for me it may become more preferable to the original 12" in time, because it is a more varied and complete sounding mix.

As if all that isn't enough, we are further spoilt by some previously unreleased tracks: "Can't Help The Way That I Feel" (a track later destined for Sonia's excellent "Everybody Knows" album) in both 7" & 12" versions, 2 demo tracks; "Call And Say" & "Keeping It Together" (which would have made a passable B-Side). Then we have something truly thrilling, a Phil Harding & Ian Curnow track; "Tell Me (You'll Wait For Me)" which has been criminally hidden away in the vaults gathering dust for over 20 years. It is reminiscent in style to Kylie's "What Do I Have To Do" and sounds like a Hazell Dean classic. Knowing the way PWL worked there must be a 12" mix lurking somewhere. Hopefully we will see that on a further CD that covers "The Rest Of Hazell Dean" with the tracks post-PWL and if we're really lucky those early recordings like "Our Day Will Come".

"More Than Words Can Say" deserves highlighting here because it is a lovely song and would have made a great single. It had already been on Mel & Kim's "F.L.M." album, which may have been a factor in not using it for an A-Side. But that didn't stop Pete Waterman reusing Bananarama's "Last Thing On My Mind" for Steps, so... who knows? The song is here in the 7" version from the B-Side of "Love Pains". I have not seen this short mix on CD before, so being a completist I am pleased to get it. The 12" version is only 24 seconds longer, but this disc is so jam-packed to capacity at almost 80 minutes that those vital seconds saved here were clearly necessary and there is nothing missed from those few seconds anyway.

This release is 99% perfect for me. I just wish the acappella intro had been included on the "Searchin' (I Gotta Find A Man) (Mega-Mix)" as per the final ENA(T) 109 12" single. The full version on that 12" is 10:20, but here it is 10:01. Here is an explanation of the mixes for clarification:

The first 12" release was ENA(T) 109 with A-Side "Searchin' (I Gotta Find A Man)" original 12" version (which is on the Cherry Pop reissue of "Heart First") backed with "Searchin' (I Gotta Find A Man) (instrumental)".

The second 12" release was ENA(T)X 109 with "Searchin' (I Gotta Find A Man) (Mega-Mix)" which was 10:01 (the version included on this CD) backed with "Searchin' (I Gotta Find A Man) (Nightclubbing Mix)".

The third 12" release was the version that made the charts and reverted to the original catalogue number ENA(T) 109. This time it was a double A-Side using the two previous A-Side mixes. However, the megamix on this release was 10:20 including 19 seconds of Hazell bellowing at the top of her lungs completely acappella on the beginning. Hopefully at some point this will see the light of day on CD because Hazell's bellowing is a great intro to the track and I miss it not being there.

The version included here on this CD is the version from the second 12". I have this mix on 4 other CD's (none of them include the acappella intro) and they are all irritatingly faded out early, the longest being 8:27 and the shortest being 6:13, so to get the 10:01 version here for the first time I'm very pleased and I do see that at 79:56 there was no more room on this disc. The other disc is 79:54, so they really have crammed these two discs to absolute capacity.

Over all, this CD is AWESOME. Big smiles and much gratitude here!

I have also reviewed the Cherry Pop CD reissue of Hazell's Always: Expanded Edition which is another essential purchase.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best of the Best Ofs, 12 Sept. 2012
By 
downkiddie "downkiddie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean (Audio CD)
This really is the ultimate greatest hits collection - combining not only all the hits and singles from the PWL era - but also unreleased material. There have been other best of albums from Hazell Dean before - the best of the bunch being Greatest Hits from 1996, the others mostly consisting of re-recordings and obscure material. This one presents all the well known hits from the 80s and early 90s in their glorious original form.

The well known songs are of course stand outs - "Whatever I Do", "Searchin" and "Who's Leaving Who" still sound superb and iconic. It also reminds us of the songs that should have been massive as well, such as the insanely catchy "Back In My Arms" and "Always Doesn't Mean Forever". This latter song epitomises all that's great about 80s music; SAW meets Human League with extra "oh whoahs" added, with Hazell's superb vocals. For the first time the late 80s/early 90s singles "Love Pains" and "Better Off Without You" are included on a proper Greatest Hits album, together with their respective b-sides.

The unreleased material is an unexpected delight. Two songs ("Keeping it Together" and "Call and Say") are demos and naturally sound weaker compared to the studio material, but are still great to have. In total there are 7 tracks ("new" songs and remixes) that are either unrelased in any form or previously released only as downloads.

The second disc collects together a selection of remixes, including some unreleased ones, including a lovely version of "Who's Leaving Who" which brings the guitar track to the top. It's also a (presumably intended) nice touch that none of the remixes on the second disc are on the recent reissues of Hazell's albums Heart First and Always, which themselves included a wealth of bonus tracks and mixes, so there's lots of new stuff for anyone who has those albums. Another nice touch is the reuse of the late 80s era Hazell Dean logo. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into this album's production, and it comes complete with extensive liner notes, including some written by Hazell herself.

This is an excellent introduction to this era of 80s music and Hazell's work. It's also a must for fans who have all her stuff - besides being the best collection of hits there's stuff here they won't have. The music's great of course, but with this one it comes in the package it deserves.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS is how you make a compilation, 22 Sept. 2012
By 
This review is from: Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean (Audio CD)
When it was announced that a new Hazell Dean compilation was being released, I cynically expected a half-hearted roundup of Dean's hits, covering familiar territory. But this collection far exceeded my expectations, no small feat considering Cherry Pop released the excellent reissue of "Always" earlier this year.

As other reviewers have stated in their reviews, this is a 2-disc compilation, featuring radio and single versions on Disc One and extended mixes on Disc Two. For such a low price, you receive great value. The packaging is tasteful and well-presented, and the sequencing, while not chronological, is well paced. The sound is outstanding, and none of the extended mixes appear to be vinyl rips to this ear. A few bonuses include alternate mixes of "Who's Leaving Who" and "Maybe (We Should Call It A Day)", plus a few unreleased tracks.

Unlike so many compilations on the market nowadays, this one isn't just another cash-grab. It's the kind of compilation that will please both casual and die-hard fans of Hazell Dean.

Highly recommended.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute best Hazell Dean Compilation, 10 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean (Audio CD)
This has got to be the best Hazell Dean compilation. All of the 7" single mixes together for the first time on cd.
I can finally put my vinyl copies of No Fool (for Love) away now as both 7" and the (12" dance mix) have been released on this cd.
Well done Music club deluxe, this is a true masterpiece.

Disk 2 features some excellent 12" versions.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A PWL Classic, 14 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean (Audio CD)
AMAZING Collection of PWL masterpeices, all remastered and sounding crystal clear and for a bargain price! You can't get better than that!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate Hazell Dean best of!!, 10 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean (Audio CD)
This is maybe THE best Hazell Dean compilations ever released.
Ignore those terrible re-recordings or cheap Ian Levine recordings... THIS is the ultimate.
Includes not only all Hazell's best singles in their original version, it celebrates her work with Stock Aitken Waterman and PWL by including rare and unreleased 12" mixes, along with 3 unreleased songs available here for the first time.
Fans will know all the singles, so I will just say that these are all the original single versions which is great to have on one compilation.
You then have 2 unreleased Stock Aitken Waterman songs (recorded in 1985) called "Call And Say" and "Keeping It Together". Another PWL produced track by Phil Harding & Ian Curnow is "Tell Me You'll Wait For Me", and it's Euro HI NRG brilliance.
Great to see "Can't Help The Way That I Feel", "Love Pains" and "Better Off Without You" included too, love those songs. I've seen some people complain about material released after Hazell left PWL not being included?
Well, that material is really quite awful and isn't a patch on what is included here.
This compilation is a focus on the PWL years, not the ones after it. GET IT!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - a great greatest hits, 27 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean (Audio CD)
At last `Evergreen' presents a near-complete collection of Hazell Dean's singles - in their original studio glory, complete with some thorough liner notes and a piece from Hazell herself, a good selection of cover artwork and a second disc of rare/unreleased mixes, a real treat for long-standing fans while sounding familiar enough for new or casual listeners.

Disc 1 presents singles between 1984 and 1991. There are some real treats to be had here, `Turn it into love' is present as the original 7" mix -not the album version - complete with a snappier intro, and microphone echo on the mid-section. Similarly the rare (until 2012) single edits of `They Say It's Gonna Rain' and `Always Doesn't Mean Forever' can be found here too. Even `Love Pains' and `Better Off Without You', both from Dean's switch to Lisson records are both present and correct, having been absent from the preceding EMI Gold collection Greatest Hits. There are four previously unreleased recordings too - including Hazell's take on `Can't Help The Way That I Feel' which you may recognise from Sonia's debut album, `Everybody Knows'. If there's a downside to this disc it's the absence of the `Evergreen' edit, but it's a minor quibble given the richness of the other tracks here.

Of course, as a pioneer artist of the Stock/Aitken/Waterman sound there are some delicious extended mixes to be found on the second disc. `Who's Leaving Who' and `Maybe' are presented in previously unreleased mixes - making this an essential purchase for anyone who bought the recently reissued `Always: Expanded Edition' double CD, which excluded the original extended version of `Turn It Into Love' - present on this disc - which was notable by its absence from that earlier sterling release. `Can't Help The Way That I Feel' is also here in the 12" master mix, alongside a host of mixes that were originally only available on vinyl releases.

After so many years of re-recorded versions and the patchy EMI Gold collection from 1996 it feels churlish to criticise this release. `Evergreen' exceeded my expectations by successfully walking the line between presenting the hits for new listeners while offering enough new and rare material to entice fans to part with their cash. As with the `Always' reissue, there's a tangible sense of care and time that's been spent on this release, which is astounding given that it's a mid-price CD. If you're looking for a compilation of Hazell's hits, then there's no contest - this is easily the best starting point.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review - Evergreen The Very Best, 3 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean (Audio CD)
I buy this item as a very long-time fan of HD. This issue contains the 12" mixes/remixes + unreleases tracks that never appear on CD. Though I have all 12" mixes/remixes of the released singles, I agree that the sound quality of this issue are better than the reissue "Heart First". The remastered sound is so clear that makes me hear something that I never heard before. For the unreleased tracks, I enjoy "Tell Me" which questions to my mind why it's not released as single at that time.

To conclude, this issue is worth buying and I hope to see her MV + TOTP show in DVD format available in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT TRACKS-GREAR SINGER-GREAT LADY., 18 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean (Audio CD)
Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean ITS ABOUT TIME HAZELL DEAN HAD A CD LIKE THIS PUT TOGETHER, MOST OF THE ONES I HAVE ARE NOT A PATCH ON THIS COLLECTION. GREAT TRACKS EVERY ONE OF THEM THE SNGLES AND THE 12" TRACKS. I HAVE MET HAZELL A FEW TIMES AND ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT SHE IS THE PERFECT LADY, I MET HER MANY YEARS AGO WHEN SEARCHING WAS A HIT AND A FEW YEARS AGO AS WELL. SO IAM GLAD THIS CD HAS DONE HER PROUD, ABOUT TIME. THE GOOD OLD DAYS ARE BACK WITH A BANG AND SOME GREAT MUSIC.........LOL............GO GET THIS AND LISTEN TO A LADY WITH A GREAT VOICE DO HER STUFF....LOVE IT...........................ENJOY.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searchin', 12 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean (Audio CD)
This is a terrific Hazell Dean greatest hits collection, much better than "Greatest Hits" which I also own - both in terms of the audio quality and the range of songs available. It was a terrific idea to compile all the single versions of her songs onto one CD, and the 12" versions on another, instead of the mix available on the earlier album. The songs sound better than I have ever heard them before, and most are improved in their shorter single versions.

Hazell Dean has a strong voice, and I love the apparent paradox of blending her clear English diction and mature image with such driving hard-hitting Hi Energy songs. In the interesting sleeve notes Hazell said that she had never sought to be a singer of dance music but that was how things turned out for her. In the slower songs you can hear this frustrated ballad singer with a really lovely voice trying to come out, but to be honest she sails perilously close to cruise singer/cabaret territory. Thank goodness her producers had the foresight to harness this great singer to dance music.

Hazell first came to the fore with "Searchin'" which was a huge hit in gay clubs and a year or so later hit the mainstream charts. Her most loyal fans have probably been the LGBT community - like her Stock Aitken and Waterman stablemate Kylie. They are two very different singers both in image and vocal ability, but its perhaps surprising that whilst one became an international megastar, the other has mostly faded into obscurity.

I still enjoy "Searchin'" the most of her all her songs, but also love the dark heavy gay disco feel of "Whatever I do" and the exotic "They say its gonna rain". Actually I dont think there's a bad song on the album, including all the previously released tracks. Tell Me (You'll Wait for Me) and Cant Help the Way that I Feel are especially good finds. It is conspicuous that there's no attempt to update this album with any post SAW material or even recently remixed versions of the old hits, but I think that only adds to the strength of this album.
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