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Should I be alarmed that there is a photo of a cassette on the front cover artwork? This conjures up images of poor quality and songs being chewed up in old ghetto blasters! Then, that was all the rage in the eighties I guess.
There are twenty six tracks on this album, spread over a couple of discs and it boasts extended versions of pop classics from the eighties. It gets underway with a very predictable footing. Aha's 'Take On Me' is good fun, though I think 'The Sun Always Shines On TV' has the edge and isn't as overplayed.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood is a blast, though it does seem quite self absorbed and Holly Johnson's vocals can sound severe at times. Much more enlightening is the Men at Work song 'Down Under' which has a melanchonic mood before lifting the atmosphere with a buoyant melody and a chirpy chorus section.
I love Miami Sound Machine doing 'Dr Beat' which has such a wicked American groove. I picture cruising down Miami highstreets with this blasting out of my car.
Milli Vanilli's 'Girl You Know It's True' might have sufferred in the media, when the vocals were exposed as a sham, but the song is quite addictive and the reggae beat blends mercifully with a poppy rhythm to create a fervent little number.
Jackson's 'Billie Jean' is here in full form. It is all about the bassline, obviously.
As we approach disc two, check out George Michael. 'I Want Your Sex' is brooding, dirty and he sounds like he is on the verge of doing something dubious throughout; one to play when you're feeling frisky. For something rockier, T'pau deliver the goods, thanks to a gripping and assertive vocal from redheaded Carol Decker.
The rather suspectly titled 'You Came' by Kim Wilde is a feast for pop fans. Rousing synths and a gamely melody lift it to new heights and her vocal is sprightly and dynamic as she sings of the man of her dreams sweeping her off her feet.
I can pass on Dead Or Alive. 'You Spin Me Round' is laborious, though I know it is a classic. I prefer 'Easy Lover' which closes the disc, finding Phil Collins on fine form as he belts out a manly vocal with gusto. Great drums on this one too.
I recommend this album for eighties enthusiasts.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 A-Ha - Take On Me (Extended mix)
2 Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax (New York mix)
3 Men At Work - Down Under (Extended Mix)
4 Hall & Oates - Maneater (Extended club mix)
5 Miami Sound Machine - Dr Beat (Long Version)
6 Bros - I Owe You Nothing (Shep Pettibone Remix)
7 Curiosity Killed The Cat - Misfit (Extended mix)
8 New Kids On The Block - You Got It (The Right Stuff) (New Kids In The House Mix)
9 Bangles - Walk Like An Egyptian (Extended Dance mix)
10 King - Love & Pride - (USA Summer mix)
11 Taylor Dayne - Tell It To My Heart (Dub mix)
12 Milli Vanilli - Girl You Know It's True (Maxi Version)
13 Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (Original 12" version)
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 George Michael - I Want Your Sex (Monogamy Mix Rhythm 1)
2 Terence Trent D'arby - Wishing Well (Three Coins In A Fountain Mix)
3 T'Pau - Heart & Soul (remix)
4 Kim Wilde - You Came
5 The Blow Monkeys - Digging Your Scene (12" Mastermind Mix)
6 Aswad - Don't Turn Around (12" mix)
7 Swing Out Sister - Surrender (12" Version)
8 Living In A Box - Living In A Box (12" Club)
9 Haircut 100 - Love Plus One
10 Altered Images - Don't Talk To Me About Love (Extended)
11 Dead Or Alive - You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) (Murder Mix)
12 Rick Astley - Nevr Gonna Give You Up (Cake Mix)
13 Philip Bailey & Phil Collins - Easy Love