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, January 18, 2013

Various Artists - Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the '80s, Vol. 11 (1995)

This is the 11th 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 1981-1983. Like most compilations, this disc is hit-or-miss, but the misses on this one are exceptionally bad.

  • In A Big Country - Big Country: I remember loving this song and their other hit, Fields Of Fire. I bought their album only to discover those were the only two good songs on it.  I liked the electric guitar/bagpipe sound they were able to create, although it gets old pretty quick.
  • 99 Luftballons - Nena:  a huge hit here in the States. I'll admit it is catchy, but I never really was much of a fan.  I'm just enough of a contrarian that I probably didn't like the song simply because everyone else did like it.
  • Just Got Lucky - JoBoxers: a call-and-response UK mod/soul tune in the same vein as The Jam.  Not bad in a Motown-tribute kind of way.
  • Jukebox (Don't Put Another Dime) - The Flirts:  Previously heard on Valley Girl: Music From The Soundtrack.  Here's what I wrote then: "An obvious Go-Go's knock-off, they've become one of the '80s better one hit wonders. This is the one hit."  My friend Scott loved the song so much he went out and bought The Flirts' 1982 album, 10¢ A Dance.  If memory serves, he regretted that decision.
  • Change - Tears For Fears:  I listened to The Hurting, the album from which this song was taken and it didn't do much for me.  My opinion of the band changed in 1985 with their release of Songs From The Big Chair which I owned on cassette.
  • Talking In Your Sleep - The Romantics:  I owned the cassette of the album In Heat.  It got a little play in my car in late '83/early '84.  The song is just OK, but it reminds me of leaving the high school campus for lunch with friends Brett and Roy.
  • Emotion - DFX2:  Not really New Wave.  This sounds like a bad knock off of the Rolling Stones, ca. 1979.  I'll pass.  Is the name pronounced "Dee Eff Ex Two" or "Defects 2"?
  • President Am I - Slow Children:  Typical bouncy west coast New Wave with vocals that sound like Dale Bozzio.  Unfortunately, the production is better than the songwriting.
  • One Thing Leads To Another - The Fixx:  A great guitar lick and catchy melody.  I can't tell you how many times I picked up the Reach The Beach album and then put it back.  I have no idea why I never bought it.  I saw the group at Astroworld in the summer of 1984 on their Phantoms tour.
  • The Fanatic - Felony:  Previously heard on Valley Girl: Music From The Soundtrack.  Here's what I wrote then:  "A great New Wave song, complete with bouncy bass and synths, with just a splash of guitar. It might have been a hit if they had edited out the out-of-tune piano solo that sounds like it was played on an instrument from a wild west saloon."
  • Shiny Shiny - Haysi Fantayzee:  Trouser Press calls this group's debut album "one of the most willfully annoying records of all time" and "like having painful dentistry performed by an overbearing three-year-old."  That should tell you all you need to know.  Please make it stop.
  • Mirror Mirror (Mon Amour) - Dollar:  Written by Trevor Horn and Bruce Woolley, who wrote Video Killed The Radio Star.  Produced by Horn. I hadn't heard this song before buying this CD, but I can almost guarantee that I would have loved this song back in '81.  Maybe I can find a cheap copy of the album...
  • The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) - The Fun Boy Three:  This song might be OK for album filler, but as a single? (It reached #7 in the UK, so what do I know).  Another skip.
  • Black Coffee In Bed - Squeeze:  Previously heard on Sweets From A Stranger.  Here's what I wrote then: "...Black Coffee In Bed, an obvious attempt to capitalize on the minor success of their previous single, Tempted. To me, Black Coffee In Bed is a poor imitation, containing none of the soulfulness of Tempted, while rambling on for far too long.  Just when you think the song is ending, it goes back for a second attempt at the bridge about 4 minutes in. (Also, the video was horrible and, in 1982, that counted for something)."
  • Send Me An Angel - Real Life:  I'm indifferent to this moody, minor hit.  I don't skip it, but I don't go out looking to hear it.
  • True - Spandau Ballet:  Ahhhh.  Great to end the album.  I know all the lyrics and will also vocalize the sax solo.  Not long after the following commercial was released, my buddy Blake sent me this text message: "in the annoying spandau ballet car commercial, you are the dude in the backseat."  He's right, of course.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: see above

Previously revisited for the blog:
Volume 1Volume 2
Volume 3Volume 4
Volume 5Volume 6
Volume 7Volume 8
Volume 9Volume 10
Volume 12Volume 13
Volume 14New Wave Xmas
New Wave Dance Hits

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