This is the 9th volume of a fantastic 15 volume set released in the mid-'90s by the always wonderful Rhino Records. This is a real mixed bag. Some of the best songs of the '80s alongside some of the worst. Songs on this volume were released in the years 1982 and 1983.
- Rio - Duran Duran: Love. It. Maybe my favorite Duran song. I remember singing all the background harmonies on this one after repeated listenings. Unfortunately, the version included here is the butchered single edit. Ugh.
- I Melt With You - Modern English: Not heard much when it was first released, now you can't get away from it. I liked it back in the '80s, but I think the overexposure makes me want to skip over it now.
- Cool Places - Sparks & Jane Wiedlin: I only heard this song once or twice back in high school, but was reintroduced to it through this CD. Fun stuff. Right up my alley, I can't believe I didn't buy the album back in '83.
- Love My Way - Psychedelic Furs: Richard Butler's voice always put me off. I was never a big P Furs fan.
- Save It For Later - The English Beat: not the group's usually ska. This is more pop, but it is a spectacular pop song. One of my favorite early '80s songs from one of my favorite early '80s albums, Special Beat Service (to be reviewed here sometime in the future).
- Whenever You're On My Mind - Marshall Crenshaw: I wasn't a Crenshaw fan back in the '80s, but the inclusion of this great song on this compilation led me to buy a greatest hits CD. Now I'm a huge fan. Retro-rock at it's finest.
- Keep It Tight - Single Bullet Theory: This is bad new wave (yes, I know some of you think that's redundant).
- Blister In The Sun - Violent Femmes: A cult favorite; I never saw the allure.
- The Cutter - Echo & The Bunnymen: I didn't listen to Echo in the '80s and I have to wonder why not. Maybe I didn't like the moody post-punk stuff back then? I was a teenager so I certainly didn't need additional angst in my life, but I enjoy it now.
- Sign Of The Times - The Belle Stars: good, but not great. Sounds like Bananarama (you have to decide for yourself if that's a compliment or an insult).
- Poison Arrow - ABC: I just love the bass line. Is there such thing as smooth, sophisticated, white boy funk?
- Too Shy - Kajagoogoo: As I've mentioned before, I love this song. It's one of my all-time favorite one hit wonders.
- Let Me Go - Heaven 17: More solid Brit-synth-soul. First song I heard from this group. It didn't make a good initial impression, but I'm glad I stuck with it. These three tracks back-to-back-to-back (Poison Arrow, Too Shy, then Let Me Go) is simply brilliant sequencing.
- Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop) - Q-Feel: This manic dance number is fun to listen to. Once.
- Teenage Enema Nurses In Bondage - Killer Pussy: As bad as the title and band name would suggest. The best part of the song is the last line: "This job stinks!"
- I Eat Cannibals - Total Coelo: Another Banarama knock-off. Horrible lyrics include such lines as "We are what we eat/you're my kind of meat." I just lost my appetite.