'What's this?', I hear you scream. 'CRASH doing reviews for ZZAP! products!?' Not quite. Let me explain. Datahits is a cassette containing computer-generated theme music from five best-selling Commodore games in audio form on one side: a sort of 'Greatest Hits' compilation of computer game soundtracks. The other side has a database program which runs on the Spectrum. The database enables you to file your cassettes and stack the titles of the programs complete with the tape-counter number in the database. The filing system doesn't have to be used for computer games - the databse can be adapted for records and audio cassettes. The Softwhere system, although fairly simplistic is quite adequate if, like me, you can loose track of programs and music cassettes within minutes. (Don't suppose it'd make any difference to Mr Liddon's lifestyle - ED.) It has a fairly large capacity which, at full stretch, can contain over 20,000 titles! It's just a shame the programmers didn't include an option to print out the contents of the database - such a facility would have made the software much more useful.
The audio side features Commodore renditions of the music from Rambo, Neverending Story. Ghostbusters, Crazy Comets and Hypersports. The Commodore is aided by several chunks of hardware (samplers, drum machines and sequencers) and the result is not bad at all. The sound quality is very good (and so it should be for £4.99). If I was to be a bit critical I would say that some of the arrangements lack imagination and the resulting sounds can be a little wearing after a bit. I also failed to hear the 'stereo dance-mix' effect that the insert promised.
Definitely A for effort, though. What we now await is a Spectrum-generated cassette. If anyone out there has been busy cranking their 128's and all other 48K music add-ons into musical life please, send me a copy - I'd be very interested to hear from Spectrum composers. (Usual address: Jon Bates, PO BOX 10, LUDLOW, Shropshire SY8 1DB.) This could open up a whole new ball-game in the record market. I wonder how long before we see music that originated as a game soundtrack reworked for the charts?