Note: despite the title, this is NOT a best-of compilation. This CD contains two complete albums: Wilde's 1981 self-titled debut (which peaked at #86 on the US Billboard Top 200 chart) and 1982's Select. I'm unsure if the second album was even released in the US.
Tracks: I think the songs from the debut are solid; perhaps that's just because I listened to it quite a bit back in '82. The only skippable song was on side 2 of that album: You'll Never Be So Wrong. Top picks for me are Chequered Love, Water On Glass, Tuning In Tuning On, and, of course, Kids In America. From the first time I heard Kids In America, I was a Kim Wilde fan, although I never understood why the lyric was written as "New York to East California." Why leave out the people in the western part of California? There's two reggae/ska-influenced tracks (Everything We Know and 2-6-5-8-0) that sound like they could be filler from a No Doubt release. A little strange, but fun nonetheless. From the Select album, I like Ego, Chaos At The Airport (which sounds like an ELO song and is strangely out of place here), and Can You Come Over (which sounds like a Josie Cotton number), but other than that nothing really appeals to me. Overall, the writing just isn't as good on the second album (e.g.,"There's trouble down in action city. It's a brave new world" <eyeroll>). The dreaded 'sophomore slump'.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: The debut LP reminds me of the fall of 1982. I had recently gotten my driver's license and thought a lot of myself as I listened to a tape I made of Wilde's debut LP in my car as I drove to early morning marching practice. I didn't give the Select LP much of a chance so I don't have many memories regarding that one.