Silver Eagle compilation CDs

It's a safe bet that you've never heard of Silver Eagle Records. Back in the late 1980s, they were a mail-order company from Canada, and they had a few compilation CDs as catalog items. My DJ friend, Steve, and I bought one of virtually everything they offered around 1988. Unfortunately, they folded up shop shortly after that, and their entire output was pretty much lost forever. Fooey.

Rhino and Time-Life may have done it better, but Silver Eagle did it first. These were the first compilations of their kind, and I was proud to be at the forefront of DJ-dom, spinning these tracks from CD alongside the more common vinyl recurrents.

In particular, I remember reading a review in Billboard magazine of the "Dancing The Night Away" compilation, which was THE FIRST disco compilation, anywhere, ever. My college roommates and I were so fond of this collection, that every time Charles got to pick which CD we listened to - we had a rotation, you see - we would hear "Dancing The Night Away" Disc 2.

If you ever run across any of these compilations, buy them. They're a fine slice of pop music history, and the track selection is still excellent. I'll pay you for them if you don't want them.

Page 25 of the August 20, 1988 issue of Billboard, reviewing "Dancing The Night Away".

The Silver Eagle catalog. Here's the same document, but uncompressed (and huge).

Dancin' The Night Away (1988)

This is DA BOMB. The first disco collection ever. It has a terrific version of Amii Stewart's "Knock On Wood", with a longer (and un-truncated) intro than any other CD copy I've run across. Plus, it has the censored version of Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music": there were promo copies of the 45 that went out, with the words "white boy" removed! The only places you can find the censored version on CD are here and on one of the Priority "Mega Hits Dance Classics" CDs - both of which are way out of print.

Formula 45 (1988)

Extra good sound from this one - it was mastered by Larry Walsh, who would later do some of the Living In Oblivion collections.

Motown [25th] Anniversary (copyright 1983)

It appears that this was a re-release of a 1983 LP set that commemorated the 25th anniversary of Motown Records. There's a significant drop-out on Diana Ross's "Upside Down".

Motown 30th Anniversary (1988)

Ready To Rock (1988)

Rockin' Down The Block (1987)

This was also sold under the name "1st And 10" with a picture of OJ Simpson on the cover (oh why oh why didn't I buy this when I found it in the store?!?) "1st and 10" had an identical track listing, and probably is worth quite a chunk of change nowadays. (Thanks to John from Kalamazoo.)

This set and "Ready To Rock" were my first 1960s sets, and they saw an enormous amount of activity on the frat party circuit in the late 1980s. A large amount of beer was often spilled on equipment in close proximity to "Rockin' Down The Block".

Shades Of Love (1989)

My first mellow collection. Still can't beat it for slow dancing - "Dream Weaver", and so on.

After Hours (1990)

My first (and maybe even THE first) 1980s collection, anywhere. You'll find the "proper" versions of "Freeway Of Love" and "Some Like It Hot" on here, which are both a bit off on the Time-Life '80s collections. (The T-L collection has the long LP version of "Freeway" and truncates the last line of "Hot".) For some reason, I think this came out after my one-of-everything purchase, and I remember buying this in a store, not through the mail-order.

You'll also note a set of Sims Reference Bands in the pictures of the CDs. Back in 1991, there was an odd audiophile craze to "touch up" the sound on CDs - you'd buy these little fitted rubber bands that fit around the outside of the CDs, which (in theory) would make the CD wobble less as it spun, decreasing the workload on the focus and tracking servos, decreasing the need for interpolation and error correction, giving you better sound. It didn't work (I worked in the optical data storage field at the time, and the Sims Reference Bands didn't do anything measurable). Audio stores also sold special green magic markers, and you could color the edge of the CDs; in principle, this would decrease stray reflections inside the CD, etc. Those didn't work either. Anyway - look for the neato rubber bands in the scans.

Woodstock Rock (1989)

As hippy collections go, this is one of them, along with Freedom Rock ("Turn it up!").

The Best Of Canadian Rock (1991)

The first place I had Gino Vannelli's "Black Cars".

There are a few more that deserve mention, but I don't own them anymore. "Brit's Blitz" was a collection of British Invasion pop, and I sold my copy once I started to pick up the Time-Life 1960s sets. It was manufactured under the Canadian PolyTel label, if you're trying to hunt it down. There was one other collection called "Rock Box" - a massive 5-CD set of early-to-mid '60s pop, which included some gems (Chubby Checker's "The Twist" and "Let's Twist Again"), and some unfortunate re-recordings. This is the only one of the Silver Eagle bunch that has any re-recordings on it, and I sold mine off many years ago.