This is the 12th volume of a fantastic 15 volume set released in the mid-'90s by the always wonderful Rhino Records. The detailed liner notes alone are almost worth the price. Some of the volumes are out-of-print, so if you see any in a used CD bin, pick them up.
- Karma Chameleon - Culture Club: I didn't like it in 1983; still not a fan.
- It Must Be Love - Madness: hadn't heard this song until I got this CD. Not typical Madness, but not terrible.
- Gold - Spandau Ballet: I think Spandau Ballet had peaked by this time, but this song is very characteristic of them in the mid-80s.
- Come Back and Stay - Paul Young: I'm not a Paul Young fan. 'Nuff said.
- Oblivious - Aztec Camera: I loved this song since I heard it on MTV back in the '80s. Love. It.
- They Don't Know - Tracey Ullman: I've always liked this song. I had Ullman's LP which was a great collection of '60s covers.
- Positively Lost Me - The Rave-Ups: another song I hadn't heard until I got this CD, but I wish I had heard them back in the '80s. I might have become a fan like Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles.
- Fields of Fire - Big Country: I remember loving this song and their other hit In a Big Country. I bought their album only to discover those were the only two good songs on it.
- (She's) Sexy + 17 - Stray Cats: I didn't appreciate the rockabilly revival at the time, but now I enjoy songs like this.
- Sixty Eight Guns - The Alarm: to me, this group is a cross between The Jam and Big Country, angry young men protesting. That said, this is a catchy song that often becomes an earworm after hearing it.
- Our Lips Are Sealed - The Fun Boy Three: I remember seeing the video for this and becoming focused on the ostinato pattern in the rhythm guitar. While The Go-Go's version is fantastic, I think I prefer this version.
- Only You - Yaz: Moyet's powerful voice sounds great over the top of Clarke's background synths (which may sound a bit dated now, but were way ahead of their time IMO). Yaz=one of the most underrated breakups of the '80s.
- The Politics of Dancing - Re-Flex: this dance song is so great I can't believe I didn't hear it back in the '80s. Thankful for its inclusion on this compilation.
- Calling Your Name - Marilyn: this is harmless, forgettable pop fluff, so of course I like it. I'd call Marilyn a one-hit wonder, but he never even had one song hit the US charts.
- Sensoria - Cabaret Voltaire: doing their best Art of Noise imitation with poor results.
- Images of Heaven - Peter Godwin: classic '80s production, very derivative of other songs at the time, the big problem is that the songwriting isn't very good.