Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Various Artists - Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the '80s, Vol. 14 (1995)

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 Bj√∂rn 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.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: many of these songs, Voices Carry in particular, remind me of the summer of 1985, which was a great summer for me that included working at a plumbing supply, driving the Markmobile, and taking history classes with Mr. Black at night school. The legal drinking age in Texas back then was 19, but I don't think that had any effect on that summer ;)

Previously revisited for the blog:
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 8
Volume 9
Volume 12
New Wave Xmas

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