This is the 14th volume of a fantastic 15 volume set released in the mid-'90s by the always wonderful Rhino Records. This CD is not the strongest of the 15 volumes. In fact, most of these tracks aren't what I would consider new wave. Songs on this volume were released in the years 1983 - 1985.
- Close (To The Edit) - Art Of Noise: I wish I had listened to AoN when I was in high school. It would have been perfect for a music snob like me to talk about when everyone else at the high school lunch table was talking about Journey or Styx. This is one of the group's better songs.
- Tenderness - General Public: I never liked this song on principle. I was upset that the English Beat broke up so I couldn't support General Public.
- Der Kommissar - After The Fire: Uh-oh. I have to confess that After The Fire is one of my guilty pleasures. However, while it was the band's most popular song in the US, this Superfreak knock-off is not the best song by this British band. Not by a long shot.
- Smalltown Boy - Bronski Beat: Already reviewed here. It's a good dance tune, even though the falsetto lead vocal isn't easy to listen to. The first openly gay song I can remember. Its themes of alienation,family rejection, and homophobia most likely kept it from being a big hit in the US. As a tolerant culture, the US has come a long way since 1984, but still has miles to go.
- Voice Carry - 'Til Tuesday: one of my fav 80's tunes. I had this album on cassette tape, but only listened to this one song. Now that I know more about Aimee Mann, I was most likely missing some great songs.
- One Night In Bangkok - Murray Head: show tunes! This song taken from Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus' rock musical, Chess. I'll pass on any song with the lyrics "The queens we use would not excite you." Wha?
- Imagination - Belouis Some: even though this is definitely a new wave song, it doesn't ring my bell.
- Never Never - The Assembly: This group was Vince Clarke's project after the breakup of Yaz/Yazoo and before the creation of Erasure. It sounds just like an Yaz tune with shaky lead vocals by Feargal Sharkey of the Undertones.
- Sunglasses At Night - Corey Hart: An average pop song from 1984. Even though it completely rips off Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This, I wouldn't call this a new wave tune.
- Free Yourself - The Untouchables: fun LA ska which owes as much to Stax as it does to Two Tone.
- Every Word Means No - Let's Active: Mitch Easter creates a surf rock meets R.E.M. kinda Georgia sounding jangle pop. Quirky, but enjoyable.
- Exception Of Love - The Truth: Rip-off of The Jam. What's missing is Paul Weller's songwriting talent.
- I Can't get Enough Of You Baby - The Colourfield: I'm a Terry Hall fan, but the world doesn't need another straight-ahead cover of a '60s tune. If you do a cover tune, make it your own!
- The Backyard - Miracle Legion: This band sounds like R.E.M., right down to the mumbly vocals. Well, like R.E.M. if they wrote TV show themes.
- Anywhere With You - Rubber Rodeo: Kind of a Western New Wave sort of sound. I've never heard of this group before, but at the very least this one song is a well-written new wave ditty.
- True Men Don't Kill Coyotes - The Red Hot Chili Peppers: More punk-funk than new wave. While I can appreciate Flea's mad bass skills, this song doesn't belong on this disc.
Previously revisited for the blog:
New Wave Xmas