During the '80s, Thompson Twins arguably produced the finest synth-pop singles, and Greatest Hits recollects their industrious years with Arista in clear, digitally remastered sound. Numerous collections exist in the Twins' catalog and nearly equal their studio albums, but Greatest Hits prevails as the most essential as it offers a definitive chronology from 1982's infectious debut "In the Name of Love" through 1987's reflective "Long Goodbye." Featuring 16 tracks, this brimming retrospective recalls MTV's formative years ("Lies"), those unforgettable Dr. Pepper commercials ("Doctor! Doctor!"), the anti-Apartheid movement ("The Gap"), and countless other '80s pop culture memories.
This budget-priced, three-part, 37-track U.K.-only box set claims to contain the Greatest Ever! 80s Pop Anthems, and while it doesn’t completely live up to its moniker, there are enough classics from the era, like "The Safety Dance" (Men Without Hats), "Something About You" (Level 42), "Pass the Dutchie" (Musical Youth), and "Come On Eileen" (Dexy's Midnight Runners), to warrant a bit of a boast.
Box set includes 3 albums: 80's Blockbusters, Rockin' '80s, '80s Pop Classics, originally released in 1999 on the label Time Life Music, as part of the series "Sounds Of The Eighties". Contains 36 songs, all original recordings by the original artists, and digitally remastered on three Audio CDs, packaged in a beautiful storage box with a rich leather-like finish and a wood frame.
A Slight Case of Overbombing gathered together material from goth merchants the Sisters of Mercy's three major-label releases. That fact immediately sets the stage for complaints from longtime fans desiring their indie music. However, for the listener more familiar with the band's mid- to late-'80s college radio tracks, this is a very good collection. The lyrics are rather pointless and Andrew Eldritch's vocals lack dynamics, but his singing has personality that overcomes his limitations. It's the edgy, hard gothic rock of the music that is their strength. There's an undeniable pull to songs like the galloping "This Corrosion" or the epic "More" (both produced by Jim Steinman). There's also a mix of "Temple of Love," featuring Ofra Haza, and an unreleased track, "Under the Gun." Not essential, but a good record for the casual fan (although more extensive liner notes would have been nice).
Despite being renowned in certain parts of the world (especially in Italy and their hometown of Paris), the space-age outfit Rockets remains largely obscure – even though they arrived on the scene at almost he same exact time as Kraftwerk and prefaced Devo by several years. The multi-membered outfit originally formed in 1972, under the name Crystal, performing on-stage in their regular street clothes. But by 1974, Crystal had evolved into Rocket Men, issuing a debut self-titled single, while its members began to assume the identities of aliens; complete with silver makeup covering their skin, grey contact lenses, space suits, and bald heads. It was also around this time that the group hooked up with producer Claude Lemoine, who would remain behind the studio boards until the early '80s. Over the next year, the group went through another name (Rocketters), before finally settling on Rockets, and issuing further singles, including such titles as "Rocket Man," "Future Woman," and "Samurai."
It's hard to imagine the wondrous spectacles that were Elton John shows in the '70s. Decked out in the kind of campy dress that would make a drag queen call the fashion police, Elton pranced and danced across the stage like he owned it – because he did. But, alas, the '80s and a monstrous coke habit came calling, and when they left John was never the same performer or singer again. What was once fun and camp somehow became tacky and the singer seemed hopelessly out of it. This CD, taken from a sold-out weekend stand at Madison Square Garden in October 2000, is his bid to capture that old live magic for the younger types who missed it the first time aroun…
With their ringing, bagpipe-like guitars and the anthemic songs of frontman Stuart Adamson, Scotland's Big Country emerged as one of the most distinctive and promising new rock bands of the early '80s, scoring a major hit with their debut album, The Crossing; though the group's critical and commercial fortunes dimmed in the years to follow, they nevertheless outlasted virtually all of their contemporaries, releasing new material into the next century.