This name of this album is a complete misnomer. It should instead have been named "Ouch! A Mediocre Selection of '80's Music" - which is exactly what this double cassette album is all about.
Firstly, there's merely a smattering of the actual stars of the '80's represented in this album. Names like Sade, Cyndi Lauper and others fail to find mention. Secondly, the majority of the numbers selected are of the kind which would make one switch off the FM channel, even if one were walking down a desert highway at eleven in the night. Most of the songs do have a very '80's feel, but they aren't truly truly representative of the '80s
So, you have the standard anthems brought out - stuff like "Sweet Dreams" (Eurythmics), "Down Under" (Men At Work) and "Take On Me" (A-Ha). Which is fine, until you hear numbers like "Hold Me Now" (Thompson Twins), "Poison Arrow" (ABC) and "Sometimes" (Erasure). Of course, it's a little futile to criticise songs that are two decades old, but it's easy to wonder why they're being dug out and paraded again. And, at the end of it, you realise that perhaps a double whammy isn't such a great idea - because the good songs would barely have filled one album.
There are a few decent lesser-known or forgotten songs - these are "Heaven" (Fiction Factory), "Atomic" (Blondie), "You Spin me Round" (Dead Or Alive) and "Video Killed the Radio Star" (Buggles). The rest are just forgettable.
The album isn't great at all and definitely not a good representation of '80's music. Not worth the bother, really.This article was first published on 10 Dec 2001.