This is the 13th volume of a fantastic 15 volume set released in the mid-'90s by the always wonderful Rhino Records. Songs on this volume are from the years 1983-1984. New Wave was waning by that time, so some of these songs don't come close to being New Wave (I'm sure Dwight Twilley was surprised when he found out he was included here). Still, this turns out to be one the stronger volumes of the series.
This CD was selected today because, out of the blue, I received this text message from my friend Jim this morning: "Do you remember a group call The Busboys?" I do remember them; this CD is the only one in my collection to have a song by the group, so here ya go.
- Relax - Frankie Goes To Hollywood: From Welcome To The Pleasuredome during Trevor Horn's heyday. Still hard to believe these lyrics got radio airplay in '84. It peaked at #10 here in the US, but topped the charts in many countries.
- Dance Hall Days - Wang Chung: This song grabbed me from the first time I heard it on the radio. I think it had something to do with the saxophone lick in the chorus being strangely laid-back and cool. Strangely, it didn't intrigue me enough to buy the LP. Reviewed previously here.
- Hero Takes A Fall - Bangles: The first Bangles song I ever heard and still my favorite. I had the debut album All Over The Place and enjoyed the '60s retro sound the band were cultivating back then. (Love ya, Susanna, call me!)
- Wouldn't It Be Good - Nik Kershaw: One of the great, underrated songs of the '80s. Sadly, it peaked at only #46 in the US despite being included on two of his first albums released here. Check it out.
- Hold Me Now - Thompson Twins: Previously reviewed here. This is what I wrote then: "Great song. Reminds me of driving in my car listening to the Into The Gap cassette during the spring of my senior year in high school." When I listen now, I still try (and usually fail) to hit the high falsetto notes during the last chorus - "Oh, will you stay with me?" - just like I did almost 30 years ago.
- Cruel Summer - Bananarama: Not my favorite Bananarama song, but I can appreciate a song about oppressive heat and loneliness during the long summer months.
- Working With Fire And Steel - China Crisis: now here's some New Wave synthpop. It might have hit had it been released 2 years earlier. It's not bad, just not memorable.
- Cleanin' Up The Town - The Bus Boys: I always associated this roots rock group with Eddie Murphy because of their appearance in the movie 48 Hrs. and also because they were Murphy's opening act on his Delirious comedy tour. However, this tune is from Ghostbusters. An African-American quintet performing this kind of music in the mid-'80s just didn't quite work out for them. Sadly, I think they were always considered more of a novelty act.
- Girls - Dwight Twilley: catchy tune, reminds me of Donnie Iris. The liner notes here claim the song reached #16 on the Billboard pop single charts, but I have no recollection of hearing this song until I bought this CD.
- The Stand - The Alarm: An admirable attempt to be a "message band" like The Clash or U2. This isn't a bad tune, but I prefer Sixty Eight Guns which appears on Volume 12 of this series.
- Free Nelson Mandela - The Special AKA: Even though The Specials had re-formed without mastermind Terry Hall as The Special AKA, this is still classic ska and the rare upbeat protest song.
- General Public - General Public: I should like General Public because of their connection with The English Beat, The Specials, and The Clash, but I think, at the time, I was so upset the The English Beat had split, I never gave the supergroup a chance. Maybe I should rethink that now. I'm sure I can find All The Rage on the cheap at eBay.
- (Feels Like) Heaven - Fiction Factory: Don't remember this UK pop band? Me, either. The first skippable track on the CD.
- Dancing With Tears In My Eyes - Ultravox: I was an Ultravox in high school, owning their albums Vienna and Quartet. I don't know why I never bought Lament, the album that contained this single, because it is a solid effort (if you like keyboards and drum machines).
- Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly) - Icicle Works: A one-hit wonder, but what a hit. I can't believe that this song didn't take on a life of its own, à la Modern English's I Melt With You.
- The Killing Moon - Echo & The Bunnymen: I think I've said this before - I wish I had listened to Echo back in the '80s. Not too long ago, I was in a car with a woman who I had just met. This song came on the radio and she looked up at the night sky and said, "Yes, it IS a killing moon tonight." That made me a little uncomfortable. She turned out to be a decent person, but that was a strange first impression.
Previously revisited for the blog:
|Volume 1||Volume 2|
|Volume 3||Volume 4|
|Volume 5||Volume 6|
|Volume 7||Volume 8|
|Volume 9||Volume 12|
|Volume 14||New Wave Xmas|
|New Wave Dance Hits|