This is the kind of CD you might see in a cut-out bin and think to yourself, "This is the kind of CD Mark would buy." And I did. The back of the CD says this is "ALL 80s, ALL ACOUSTIC!" Well, not really acoustic versions in all cases, but stripped down versions nonetheless.
- Jesse's Girl - Rick Springfield: Rick and his guitar with the occasional slide guitar. Other than the instrumentation, this version doesn't vary much from the original.
- Down Under - Colin Hay: Electric drum machine and electric bass means this isn't an acoustic version. It's pretty straight-forward. I've got this same version on Hay's Man @ Work CD. I didn't like it on there, either.
- Your Love - The Outfield: Just an electric guitar and vocals. This is one of the better cuts on the disc. I've always loved that singer's voice.
- The Metro - Berlin: Finally, a true acoustic version. The original technopop version gives way to dueling acoustic guitars and Terri Nunn's voice. Good stuff.
- No One Is To Blame - Howard Jones: from his Live Acoustic America CD. The original had a lot of piano on it, so this isn't much different except for the audience singing along. If you like the original, you'll like this version.
- Rebel Yell - Billy Idol: Another live track; I've got this one on a Billy Idol greatest hits CD. Imagine the song with acoustic guitar in place of electric guitar, keeping the drums and (electric) bass. Recorded in '93, Idol is not in good voice, but Steve Stevens is hella guitar player and steals the show here.
- Only the Lonely - The Motels: Just the fantastic voice of Martha Davis and some acoustic guitars. Now the lyrics make much more sense. Intimate and powerful.
- 867-5309/Jenny - Tommy Tutone: This is a classic song, but age hasn't been kind to Tutone's voice. Between the finger snaps and the spoken word lyrics, I could do without this one.
- Missing You - John Waite: a bonus track his 2004 album, The Hard Way, this isn't a bad acoustic version; it's about what you would expect. Oh wait, it's not an acoustic version. There's electric guitar. I guess acoustic means no drums?
- These Dreams - Heart: from their 1995 The Road Home live album. Oh geez, are those strings? The Wilson sisters' voices sound like they've lived a hard life. Either that or Bonnie Tyler has taken over the vocal duties for Heart.
- She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby: If you know Dolby, you know there's nothing acoustic about him. In this case, I guess acoustic means only 5 synths instead of 10. I'm listening hard for any acoustic instruments. Possibly the percussion and bass. But then again, these days those could be sampled and it would be hard to tell the difference. Still, this is a classic song and I can't help but love it.
- Promises, Promises - Naked Eyes: I thought I liked this song, but apparently I only liked the poppy arrangement of the 1983 original. This is just depressing.
- Heat Of The Moment - Asia: yet another live version from Steve Hackett Tokyo Tapes. Lots of 12 string guitar, reminds me of something from EBTG's Acoustic CD. John Wetton sounds good; this is much better than their live version on Fantasia: Live In Tokyo CD.
- Our Lips Are Sealed - Jane Wiedlin: This is a great song in any set up. Wiedlin's voice is cute for a few lines, but then I realize I want Terry Hall or Belinda Carlisle singing in this instead. Still, not bad.
- The Stroke - Billy Squier: from his 1998 album, Happy Blue. This is the best song on the CD. Squier reworks this song into an acoustic blues like it was something from Junior Wells.