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121. History Never Repeats: The Best
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122. Wild Planet
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123. Joe Jackson - Greatest Hits
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124. Hallowed Ground
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125. Best Of Art Of Noise
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126. The Best of Naked Eyes
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127. The Best of Marshall Crenshaw:
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128. Jumpin' Jive
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129. Dirk Wears White Sox [Bonus Tracks]
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130. Welcome Home
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131. Laughing Stock
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132. Love Life
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133. The Lexicon Of Love
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134. Autoamerican [Bonus Tracks]
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135. Oh No It's Devo/Freedom Of Choice
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136. Dare / Love & Dancing
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137. Look of Love: The Very Best of
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138. From Time to Time: The Singles
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139. Arena
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140. Anthology

121. History Never Repeats: The Best of Split Enz
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Asin: B000002GCZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9053
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars A greatest hits compilation from under a rock
For those bereft fans of Crowded House who start checking out Neil Finn's back catalogue, and who seek only the later, more accessible songs from the clever art-rock team that was Split Enz. Neil has at times appeared reluctant to perform 'I got you' live; but here it has pride of place, in all its rhyming glory! This is a hits compilation (well, they were hits down here) rather than a true cross-section of the act's material like the double CD 'Spellbound'. The melodic electronic sounds betray the fact that almost all the songs come from three albums produced in the early eighties. From an act known for their inventiveness, and much recorded live (look out for the excellent double CD 'The Living Enz' and the not-so-good 'Anniversary') these were the songs that got airplay. Notable for its absence is 'My Mistake', a 1978 collaboration of front-man Tim Finn (Neil's older brother) and maestro Eddie Rayner (who toured with Crowded House in '87). My favorite is the title track, with what what we now know as a typical Neil moment: 'Deep in the night it's all so clear/I lie awake with great ideas/Lurking about in no-man's land/I think at last I understand'

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent songs
I became a big Split Enz fan in 1992, 20 years after the band first formed. I already had the Crowded House album "Temple of Low Men", which I bought in 1989.

The amazing thing is I didn't realize there was a connection between the two bands. Neil Finn's voice on "Better Be Home Soon" sounds different to that on "I Got You." Among my favourite Split Enz songs are "I Hope I never", "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" and "I Got You." Split Enz also revived my interest in Crowded House, which led me to buy "Woodface".

These songs are a collection of great music from a unique New Zealand band. If you know about the band's history these songs are highly evolved in relation to their early, uncommercial material. If you listen to their compilation "The Beginning of the Enz", you wouldn't think it was the same band.

When "I Got You" was released in 1980, Australia tried to call Split Enz an Australian band. Five years earlier Australian teenagers were telling Split Enz to go back to where they came from! There will never be another band like this again.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Nice Collection Of New Wave From Split Enz!
New Zealanders, Split Enz scored big in the U.S. in 1980 with it's hit "I Got You". The core of Split Enz were the talented brothers Neil and Tim Finn. Neil's guitar playing and Tim's vocals made up the Split Enz melodic pop rock that made them popular in the new wave circuit. This cd includes some brilliant songs such as "History Never Repeats", "Six Months In A Leaky Boat", "I Got You", "One Step Ahead" and the funky "Dirty Creature" to name a few. Split Enz were also known for their outragious hairstyles as well as clownish uniforms that definately fit the "new wave" mold. Although Split Enz no longer exist, this cd represents the best of their hits. Younger brother Neil Finn formed Crowded House in the late 80's and had a string of successful hits.

5-0 out of 5 stars great memories!
i've been a fan of split enz, crowded house, finn brothers and neil finn solo, for many, many years. this is great for anyone who likes any of this music. it's younger sounding, obviously, than the later projects by the finn brothers. i love it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Is Neil Finn the greatest living songwriter?!
Is it just me, or has Neil Finn written more catchy, moving songs than anyone else? True, Paul had John, but they often wrote some of their greatest moments separately. When I first got this compilation in the late 80's, I was only familiar with "I Got You," but many songs on this CD soon surpassed that. "Message to My Girl" has to be one of the most moving songs ever, with "I Hope I Never" and "One Step Ahead" being right behind. Combine those with the buoyant (no pun intended) "Six Months.." and "Hard Act to Follow" and you've got pop nirvana!! A wise investment!!! ... Read more

122. Wild Planet
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Sales Rank: 12468
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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After the likes of "Rock Lobster" and "606-0842," a lot of new wavers were curious about what Athens, Georgia's fun-loving B-52s were going to do for an encore. The answer came with this rollicking second album in 1980, which found flat-toned Fred Schneider and twin bouffant-topped, gogoing chanteuses Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson nearly equaling the giddy highs of their debut. From the riotous "Party Out of Bounds" and "Devil in My Car" to the ahead-of-the curve couch potato classic, "Private Idaho" to the ever-kitschy "Strobe Light" and the other-worldly "53 Miles West of Venus," this collection proved the B-52s were no flash in the lava lamp. --Billy Altman ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Road Trip CD
If you have a killer sound system in your car, "Wild Planet" is an absolute must have CD. Every tune on here is a classic. I can't imagine how life would be without all of the enjoyment this record has given me since it was released in 1980. The hypnotic and gorgeous Dirty Back Road,(Like a ride me). The manic Party Out Of Bounds(crashers getting bombed), the heart-breaking cries and the James Bond riffs on Give Me Back My Man(I'll give you fish, I'll give you candy...I'll give you everything I have in my hand!). Fred's impassioned pleas on Runnin' Around(You've got me chasing rainbows in the mud, in the windows over walls, to the beauty parlor at the mall!). 53 Miles West Of Venus will put you in a dance trance along with Private Idaho, etc...all. You have never heard an electric guitar played like this before by the late Ricky Wilson(Cindy's brother). There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Ricky was a musical genius way ahead of his time. Cindy and Kate's milk and honey harmonies, Keith's tribal, kick ass drums and Fred's...well, there is no one else like him in the world!
Obviously God had a plan when he brought these five spirits from outer space together to make this beautiful music. Crank up this album and you will never be the same!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wild Planet is one party out of bounds
Well, chalk up another planet in Star System B-52 (the first one was Planet Claire). The second planet after Claire is Wild Planet, and also the second album by the Athens, GA (then) quintet. On their second go-around, the B-52's still have the punchy, kitschy/positive/optimistic surf guitar sound and attitude that made their debut an unqualified hit.

Here's my piece in describing Wild Planet's nine satellites. Fred Schneider's "Surprise!" is the first word of "Party Out Of Bounds." Kate and Cindy then ask for the ice box and punch, and there's the party started, right there. "Private Idaho" is Wild Planet's "Rock Lobster," being Wild Planet's most well-known track. Ricky Wilson's guitar keeps the pace. "You're living in your own private Idaho/On a ground like a wild potato." This is another on the short list for a party mix-tape should "Rock Lobster" not be available for any reason.

For sheer jamming, nothing beats "Devil In My Car" and "Strobe Light." The first is a funny song on a car possessed by the devil. The saying "Drive like hell and you will get there" comes to mind. Anyway, the hapless narrator can't lock the door, or put on my safety belt and is going 90 mph. He thus cries out "Help! The devil's in my car!" The humor's very kitschy, with devilish motifs such as "I don't wanna go to hell" and "I don't need no batteries/I've got the devil in my car."

"Strobe Light" is a seduction number, focusing on making love under the title appliance. No one sings about kissing body parts and responding to the same as Fred and the girls, respectively. When he gets to a very personal part of his date's body, he uses a euphemism that's the same as a certain large fruit. A shrill synthesizer blasts in response.

"Quiche Lorraine" deserves mention here, about a man and his dog, Quiche the poodle. The dog runs away after a German Shepherd, leaving the man broken-hearted and vindictive for being abandoned. In addition to backing vocals, Kate or Cindy provides Quiche's sharp barks. Given the description of Quiche, whose body is dyed dark green, who is two inches tall with a strawberry blonde ball, sunglasses and a bonnet, and designer jeans with appliques on, I wonder, isn't that dog somewhat overdressed? Sounds like an SPCA case to me, but at least the song's funny.

"53 Miles West Of Venus" is another one of their space songs. The lyrics are very simple--you figure it out. Hmm, I wonder if that's the hyperspatial wormhole distance between Wild Planet and Venus.

With the exception of the mid-paced "Dirty Back Road," the pace doesn't let up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Desert Island fav!
If you were stuck on a desert island you want to make sure you bring this CD. Just about every song here makes you wanna dance. Some great memories with the B's. Truly one of the cornerstone bands of the New Wave era with a style that will never be duplicated. A must have for any 80's or even punk fan. Strobe light is one of my favs. 5 stars! Go get it!

3-0 out of 5 stars A Slight Sophmore Slump--But Fans Will Enjoy It
Lots of bands suffer from the legendary "sophomore slump." The B-52's were no exception: WILD PLANET seems quite tame in comparison to their legendary, self-titled debut. Even so, the release offers several truly memorable B-52's classics--you'll just have to work a bit harder to get at them.

The big number here is "Private Idaho," and it stands alongside the absolute best of the band, a sharp and crackly piece with sardonic lyrics, a driving tempo, and a wicked sense of humor. "Party Out of Bounds" and "Devil in My Car" aren't quite in the same league, but they're still good enough to spin your head around. But the rest of the selections don't quite manage to cross the line into manic B-52's country.

"Dirty Back Road" and "Runnin' Around" are well done but not actually very memorable--and indeed, as I sit here fresh from the recordings I can barely call either of them to mind. "Give Me Back My Man," "Strobe Light," and "53 Miles West of Venus" seem to be slightly lesser reincarnations of cuts from the debut album, and while the notorious "Quiche Lorraine" starts well it overplays into pure silliness without ever finding the cutting quality for which The B-52's were and are so famous.

Listening to WILD PLANET today, it seems to me that the problem was less with the band than it was with management. The debut album got lots of critical attention and became a cult-smash, but then as now it proved too edgy for the sort of airplay that translated into big bucks with the buying public. I can almost hear the money men saying "Oh, that's fine--but if you'd only just..." and in the process tampering with the very thing that made the B-52's so memorable in the first place: their complete originality. Fans will enjoy this particular recording, but when everything is said and done its neither edgy enough nor pop enough to rank with the band's best.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer

3-0 out of 5 stars A fairly mixed album
I loved the first B-52's album for its wackiness and great beats. This second outing has some great material (Party Out of Bounds, Private Idaho, and possibly Give Me Back My Man) but the rest of the songs are much weaker: You can't listen to Quiche Lorraine too many times before it wears out and other tracks sound out of energy. ... Read more

123. Joe Jackson - Greatest Hits
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Asin: B000002G5F
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 57489
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Early in his career Joe Jackson came on at times even angrier and more cynical than Elvis Costello. His first hits, "Is She Really Going out with Him?," "Sunday Papers," and "I'm The Man," were virtual tirades. Initially fusing punk rock's angst and sneer with new wave's melodicism, Jackson would later mature in his artistic expression, exploring everything from reggae to big band jazz. Greatest Hits chronicles this development nicely. The urban sophistication of "Steppin' Out," and even "Breaking Us in Two," had Jackson entering Cole Porter territory. His adroit ability to turn a phrase, casting his keen eye toward the ironies of relationships and entanglements often made him seem like a new wave Noel Coward.While his later material hasn't always had the same commercial success, "You Can't Get What You Want" and "Hometown," it found Jackson receiving some of the most fawning critical praise of his career. --Steve Gdula ... Read more

Reviews (9)

2-0 out of 5 stars Where's Real Men?
How can a greatest hits of Joe Jackson not include "Real Men"? I know you'll always get dissenters with a compilation album, but really! Guess you'll have to spend the extra for the 2CD compilation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this disk!
Great CD. Thoughtful diverse track selection, I only wish it was a 2-CD release. If you like this CD, especially the first few tracks, buy JJ's album "Look Sharp." Jackson's best (in my humble slightly off-beat opinion)...some of the best music of the 80's. Not that anyone asked, but my favorite JJ song?? "Fools In Love" Oh yeah...I love the idea of a JJ box set mentioned in a previous review!! I hope the record excec's read these.

5-0 out of 5 stars Steppin Out
One of the catchiest tunes ever! Love this song, great album, any fan of 80's music, or not should definately buy a Joe Jackson cd.... especially the song that stays in my head on karaoke night, "Steppin Out". AAAA+++++ SMOOTH!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Collection of JJ's Best Work
I highly recommend this disc for someone who is even a casual fan of Joe Jackson and wants to explore the many facets of his musical career-from punk angst to jumpin' jive to Cole Porteresque pop songs and beyond. The selections on this disc represent the best tracks of the many musical pallettes from which Jackson has painted the musical landscape.

Most critics of "best of" collections, including myself, will always complain that one or two songs they thought had merit were left off. Two reviewers bemoaned the exclusion of "Real Men" from the "Night and Day" album. I know many gay men think of this song as sort of an anthem, but it hardly qualifies as one of the songs that shaped Jackson's career so much as album filler. The two singles that " N & D" spawned are sufficient for this collection but if another track off that disc had to be included here my vote would have been for "Chinatown" or "Cancer". One other reviewer complained about the live version of "Memphis", but I liked the ambience of that version and have no problem with it whatsoever.

So what would I have included on this CD? Well, more of Jackson's soundtrack music. "Rhythm Delivery" or "Shape in a Drape" from the soundtrack to the motion picture "Tucker" would have been nice. Joe also scored the theme music to a television detective series in the 1980's called "Private Eye" that had a lot of punch to it. Maybe they're being saved for ....dare I hope?... a future Joe Jackson box set. Given Joe's contempt for music videos and other conventions of contemporary music, it's probably just wishful thinking on my part.

Until someone wises up and gives us that JJ box set, this disc will have to do.

4-0 out of 5 stars first time is the charm
this is a good greatest hits cd , lots of hits which is the way it should be and plus some other song s which maybe could of been hits or just hits with the fans. theres were a couple songs I would of left off but over all this is very good and clean. he is without one of the best performers of our time and his songs and cds will be around for a long time and if you want to get started with just one cd than this would be the one to give you what joe jackson has to offer you get about 3 songs from all his cds .its a cd you can play anytime ,party ,dinner , or just in the car!! Im becoming a fan and you will to after you buy this cd. ... Read more

124. Hallowed Ground
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Asin: B00004YLBA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 25723
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars A gut wrenching country folk masterpiece
I have heard this album innumerous time and on each of those occassions I don't know whether to laugh, cry or kill myself. Never has a music compilation moved me as much as this. It's a shame that I feel the music genius of the Violent Femmes has been wasted on a judgemental society demanding more "pop" from the band. Give us more like this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ground-breaking then, phenomenal still today
To properly understand the magnitude of this album, it is important to place it in context of its time: the year was 1983. Violent Femmes' first album was a college-radio hit, and expectations were high for their second album. Yet here was a collection of songs that sounded like an adenoidal Lou Reed channelling Johnny Cash on bad speed, singing with maniacal glee about Jesus and country deaths and menacing rains, two whole years before Nick Cave's FIRSTBORN IS DEAD, before John Doe and Exene would form The Knitters, etc. The only other "pre-alternative" bands even remotely capable of invoking this spectre of country-folk/gospel despair were the Minutemen and Violent Femmes' labelmates Los Lobos, yet never with this much wide-eyed tormented zeal. Not only does this album swing low like a sweet chariot, it sways like a rusty pendulum (see "I Know It's True But I'm Sorry To Say", exhumed from the same frozen wastelands of the soul that contained the Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning"). Gano sings like a man possessed by some lost psychotic spirit, and the band rolls behind him like an avalanche, uprooting everything laid down before (including the Femmes' once-promising career as college-rock smartasses). An utter masterpiece.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Perfect, But Still Great
Though not as consistently brilliant as their debut album, VF's Hallowed Ground nevertheless contains their 3 best songs. A few groups have tried to marry the desperation of Appalachian murder ballads and the fury of punk but there has never, in my opinion, been more successful attempts before or since Gordon Gano's Country Death Song and I Hear The Rain. Both musically and lyrically, the songs capture the essence of old-time mountain music and punk rock, creating a hybrid that left me stunned to the core the first time I heard them. Almost 20 years later, these songs have lost none of their power on me.
The 3rd masterpiece on this album is Never Tell, a song about unspecific childhood bullying and/or blackmail sung, written and performed in a manner so extreme as to raise the storyline to the level of myth. I don't think Gano wrote this song so much as the song spewed out of him whole.
I think it is a shame that most VF fans whose lives were changed by that groundbreaking first album have not listened to other musical genres to fully appreciate Hallowed Ground, with its mix of old-time, gospel, jazz and funk. I have friends who still don't believe me when I say that Jesus Walking On The Water is not a parody. I think all you punk rock fans ought to check out some Roscoe Holcomb albums before you listen to this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome album!
This is probably my favorite VF cd ever. Next to it would be their first (self-titled) and then "Blind Leading the Naked."

Pure and simple...this is a great release. I recently noticed that this has been re-released on the Rhino label (of all labels)! I still have the original Slash label pressing, as well as the WB release of the cd, and play them quite frequently. I remember how cool these guys were back in the day, and how cool these songs still are (at least, up until album "3").

Do take notice however that "Country Death Song&...;Ballad of Hollis Brown." Yes, 20 years prior to VF, Bob sang about a weary, destitute farmer who spends the last dollar to his name on a box of shotgun shells to off his family, then himself, with. But, kudos VF for putting a different spin on it.

This album is particularly worth the investment for "I know it's true..." alone. That song, along with " not go away" on their self-titled album (and, of course, the sweet and tender ditties on the "Blind" cd) got me through the trials and tribulations of adolescence--along with the angst of the "Living in Darkness" album by Agent Orange and "Richard Hung Himself" by D.I., and possibly every Descendents' lp up to "Milo Goes to college."

Ah, the beauty of adolescence in the '80s. I remember it well.

Well, I hope you forgive this review being somewhat off-topic. It brought back alot that I didn't forsee becoming part of this.

In short, the best, if not second best, release by VF. Very worth getting, along with the other two best (Self-titled, and "Blind").

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally available again!
Finally after being out of print for years, this album is available again. I actually ran across this by accident. How fortunate. I'm definitely ordering the CD (used to have it on cassette). This album is phenomenol. At the time (1983), there was nothing else out like it. It seemed so strange in comparison to other popular bands at the time, ie. Hall and Oates. Very advanced harmonically and lyrically. Great, unforgettable songs - Country Death Song, I Hear the Rain, etc. I would highly recommend this to anyone. ... Read more

125. Best Of Art Of Noise
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Asin: B000003MU8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11547
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (29)

2-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't really qualify as a "greatest hits" album
I empathize with the AON fans who once owned the illustrious "blue cover" version of this title. I'm fortunate enough to still have my copy which, to set the record straight, is basically the 12" mixes of most of the titles on this release. It is true that removing "Moments In Love" from this album is a crime, but I also believe that the original version of "Legs" was a much better single for Art Of Noise than its evil twin, "Legacy". Finally, I have never been able to locate a CD with the original version of "Beat Box" (the version on the Into Battle ep). Even the Daft CD, which compiles Into Battle, the Moments In Love ep, and (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise! left this version out, which should have also been included on this compilation of their 7" singles. Keep your eyes open for the hard-to-find "blue cover" version.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good collection not great
In the early 90's "The Best of The Art of Noise" was released with a blue cover. I wish that was the extent of changes to the CD. For some insane reason "Close to the Edit"(the song that first brought them attention) has been removed. The version of "Peter Gunn" is now the regular mix instead of the Twang remix. This is a good CD and I would recommend it to anyone but if you spot an Art of Noise greatest hits with a blue cover-jump on it. That one is the real deal and a 5 star collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Bring on Da' Noise
The original (blue cover) version of this collection, loaned to me by a friend, was my introduction to this group. I was instantly enthralled by the incessant rhythm and the touch of whimsy (most notably in "Paranomia" and "Dragnet"). Now, around ten years later, I am at last able to get my hands on a copy of my own.


The two significant changes are the addition of "Yebo" and "Instruments of Darkness". The first is a welcome addition blending AON's trademark drums and electronic loops with vocal chanting into a sort of techno-tribal melange. Unfortunately, the second is an incredibly disappointing remix of the In Visible Silence track with the music sped up to unrecognizability and the original political undercurrent blanched away.

With that one exception, this CD whisked me back to my college days with its organized anarchy and brought back a nostalgic look at the future. A good deal of fun.

4-0 out of 5 stars A place where art and noise do belong in the same sentence
One of the off-beat bands to hail from the UK was the trio of Ann Dudley, J. J. Jeczalik, both keyboardists, and Gary Langan doing various instruments and sharing production chores with Jeczalik, while Dudley handled the arrangements. Billed as the Art of Noise, their music can be classified as experimental keyboard music using bizarre sounds, sound loops, and computerized vocals. The material on this compilation takes the group following their departure from Trevor Horn's ZTT Records and onto China Records.

An example of their unconventionality can be heard in "Opus 4," in which the phrase "nous sommes, das", "nous nous" are repeated over and over and overlapped for the first couple of seconds, and the same process is repeated with different phrases and many of them while a keyboard melody is played.

"Yebo" has a running and throbbing Jan Hammer-like rhythm, with some African vocals and words rapped and later sung, while a long-drawn Steve Lukather-like guitar is played.

"Instruments of Darkness" is an exercise in early 90's rave, with the words "all of us are one people" and other rave shouts included. Also noteworthy is one of the producer/arrangers: Liam Howlett, later to form Prodigy.

A complete contrast can be seen in "Robinson Crusoe," with its saccharine high-pitched Percy Faith-like string arrangements.

The years 1986 and 1988 were two of their better years. Their rendition of the Henry Mancini-penned Peter Gunn theme, with Duane Eddy's surf-guitar, and weird squealing sound fills for the main rhythm, became a UK Top Ten hit.

"Relax, you're quite safe here," says a sensuous female voice to Max Headroom (those who remember the computerized spokesperson for New Coke who bore a strong resemblance to Red Dwarf's Kryten) in "Paranoimia," which features the usual keyboard while Max performs a spoken stream of consciousness soliloquy to a lightly swaying rhythm, and even his shot at poetry: "come sweet slumber and shroud me in your purple cloak. Doesn't rhyme."

And then: "DRAGNET! THEIR JOB--TO ENFORCE THE LAW AND PRESERVE THE SAFETY OF DECENT CITIZENS. DUM DA-DUM-DUM!!" Their instrumental exercise on the Dragnet soundtrack for the Dan Aykroyd/Tom Hanks movie is not the version on the soundtrack or the one used on MTV, but an extended mix with more vocal samples that are looped, particularly Aykroyd ("My name is Friday. I carry a badge", "Just the facts, ma'am.") and Hanks ("You got a lot of repressed feelings, don't you, Friday?") amid a sea of keyboards, drum machines, and other effects going amuck.

"Legacy" is a bizarre mixture of odd vocals, keyboards, drums, and samples that's also in place on a Yello album.

A song with mixed results is a cover of Prince's "Kiss," with Tom Jones on vocals. It strips down the original to drum machines and keyboards to a minimalist sound. But the backing vocalists and bursts of brass work somewhat, with a brief improvisation on the Peter Gunn theme included.

"The Art of Noise is weird" says a female voice on "Something Always Happen." An A for truth on the other tracks, but not for this exercise on drums, airy synths, vibe-like synths, which is more conventional.

Following their dissolution, Anne Dudley would go on to work on soundtracks as well as a collaboration with Jaz Coleman on some Middle Eastern music, Songs From The Victorious City, more exotic, but less conventional than the material in this collection, a testament to the noise...I mean the art present in the Art of Noise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best beat ive ever known
Best album, very dificult to find in Mexico, was first purchased by (I must say)my mother, a tom Jones fan, some old parts, I was interested first qhen Iheard Peter gunn, some similitude to C64's spyhunter. when y heard this cd fopr the first time (complete) it got me. incredible remix, e4ven a little old. I only have problems with the first and last songs, but I must include... all in my favorite, just I need to find the other albums. ... Read more

126. The Best of Naked Eyes
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Asin: B00000DRC4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 15127
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

This is a solid Naked Eyes compilation, if you don't mind not having the hit mentioned above. Come on, these guys only had four Top 40 hits! There's no excuse to leave one off. Having said that, the music that is here is rather good. If you only know their two big hits, do yourself a favour and dig a little deeper. You should be pleasantly surprised.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fuel for the Soul.
This 1991 compilation contains 15 tracks from the 1983's self-titled "Naked Eyes" and the 1984's "Fuel For The Fire" albums.
This is genuine old school synth-pop parallel in style and quality to Howard Jones's first two albums. Nakes Eyes disbanded in 1984 after only two albums and it was not until late 1990's that a reunion was in sight, but unfortunately the keyboardist Rob Fisher died in 1999 before a new release could be completed.
Rob Fisher had appeared in the pop duo of the late 80's, "Climie Fisher" coming up with the hit song "Love Changes Everything".
I persoanlly think that the music radio programmers today should play more of the other tracks included on this or the 1994 Naked Eyes compilation, aside from their two well-known and overly played Promises Promises and TIASTTRM.

5-0 out of 5 stars Underappreciated
I feel guilty being a fan of naked eyes. I mean aren't they part of the disposable new wave garble of the time. I personally do not think so. The yearning vocals and keyboards on thier love songs still touch me to this day. There is just something about thier music that sends my emotions off.

2-0 out of 5 stars The Best of Naked Eyes?
This CD is less than wonderful. I wanted "Always Something There to Remind Me" and "In the Name of Love." That's all I got because the rest of the CD does nothing for me. It isn't bad, but they aren't songs I knew already. ... Read more

127. The Best of Marshall Crenshaw: This Is Easy
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Asin: B00004UEIW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7835
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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Marshall Crenshaw never again scored the commercial success he saw with his acclaimed 1982 self-titled debut, but he kept the knack for writing melodically rich, evocative, touching songs. Culled from releases over a 15-year period (from the explosive '81 single "Something's Gonna Happen" to the fine Miracle of Science), This Is Easy leans heavily toward the pensive side of Crenshaw's oeuvre. Whether nicking an old B.B. King album title ("Blues Is King") for a generalized lament or facing specific questions raised by the everyday ("You Should've Been There," "Better Back Off"), Crenshaw always offers a riff, a hooky chorus, and a thoughtful outlook to ensure each of these songs their long lives. With many of their source albums out of print, This Is Easy fills a real void. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most overlooked musicians of all time
In the eighties, pop music entered a golden age it would never again enter. Never had the genre sounded so excellent, and never would it do so again. A number of musicians experimenting with a number of styles were trying to make it big, but one of my favorite musicians from this era was Marshall Crenshaw, who tried out an interesting experiment - combining the sound of fifties rock with the sound of the pop rock of the day. Though he never got the credit he deserved, his music is nothing short of excellent (why do so many people overlook this guy?) Read on for my review of The Best Of Marshall Crenshaw - This Is Easy.

-The first good thing, and probably the best overall thing about this compilation is obvious - you get twenty-two tracks on a single disc! Any compilation that offers that much material by an artist is almost always good.
-There's something to please just about everyone here. If you're the casual fan who wants the big hits like Whenever You're On My Mind and Someday Someway, they're all here. In addition, you get a number of underrated gems as well, like Cynical Girl and Mary Ann. With Marshall Crenshaw, the underrated masterpieces outnumber the big hits because very few of his songs ever became that popular.
-The booklet is very nice.

-There's really nothing wrong with this compilation (I bet you'd never think you'd hear that from me!)

If you want good music from an era when pop music was worthwhile, check out Marshall Crenshaw. It's doubtful you'll be disappointed. His fusion of fifties rock with eighties pop is a true winner. Don't make the mistake so many others have made and overlook this guy - you'll just be hurting yourself if you do!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great starter set for Marshall Crenshaw
Marshall Crenshaw's new "This Is Easy: The Best Of Marshall Crenshaw" CD is pure songwriting perfection from a master songwriter and musician who writes better songs than most anyone working in rock and pop today. Crenshaw fans will see this new CD as a 'must have' purchase, and if you do not own any Marshall Crenshaw CDs, shame on you, and get a move on. This fine new "Best Of" collection is the place to start for new fan.

I could quibble about a few missing favorites from Marshall's extensive collection of great songs, but there are only so many minutes on a CD. The only problem is that Marshall Crenshaw has too many pop gems from which to choose. Song after song, they are all wonderful, and Marshall's winsome vocals and often overlooked melodic (and rocking!) guitar playing sell you the song every time.

Buy this CD, then the just reissued debut "Marshall Crenshaw" CD, with bonus tracks. If you have ever tapped your foot along to a classic Beatles, Beach Boys or Dave Clark Five tune, or loved a John Hiatt or Elvis Costello song, you will enjoy Marshall Crenshaw.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Album I'd Take to a Desert Island
There are very few albums that I would label as "must haves." "This is Easy" is one of them.

The word "underappreciated" is tossed around all the time in regards to Crenshaw. I don't think this word fairly applies. I think that the people who've heard his music appreciate it a great deal. "Underheard" is probably a better choice of adjective.

As it says in the liner notes for "This is Easy," it is almost a crime that Crenshaw's work didn't get played on the radio, or MTV or - well - much of anywhere. His songs are catchy, his lyrics earnest without seeming dopey and his musicianship first class. Perhaps his sound was just too "old fashioned" for the New Wave '80s and Grunge '90s, but I propose that his work has stood the test of time much better than many of the bands with whom he competed for airplay.

Hats off to you, Marshall.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is easy, easy music to love
THIS IS EASY is a way above average greatest hits collection, for the simple reason that Marshall Crenshaw has been one of the finest writer/performers of the past twenty years. Beginning with his stunning debut album MARSHALL CRENSHAW, in 1982, he has produced a string of first rate albums filled with superb songs, the vast majority written by Crenshaw, with an occasionally gem by someone else, like the incredible "I'm Sorry (And So Is Brenda Lee)," written by Ben Vaughan.

The bulk of the great songs come from Crenshaw's first three extraordinary albums (all well worth owning) the eponymous first album (1982), FIELD DAY (1983), and DOWNTOWN (1985). Over half the album derives from these three albums. These contain what is arguably the best pop rock produced by any American performer in the early 1980s. I've played the album for friends who were only slightly familiar with Crenshaw, and while they recognized and liked the songs, I have wondered why they weren't far more widely known than they are.

I have become increasingly convinced that record companies play no useful role in a society where methods of music distribution have changed so dramatically. If one could eliminate the record companies, eliminate monopolies like Clear Channel (the first of these is inevitable, the second unfortunately not), perhaps talent rather than hype and promotion and the monopolization of the airwaves would determine whether or not performers would rise to the top. There are literally hundreds of bands and musicians who have been forced down our throats because the record companies have built them up and then overexposed them. Meanwhile, first-rate talents like Marshall Crenshaw don't receive the hype, and don't get the exposure that they deserve. The record companies and the monopolies don't deserve to control the airwaves if for no other reason than the fact that they have done such a miserable job of promoting talent.

In a better world, where talent determined whether or not someone's music was widely heard, Marshall Crenshaw would have been huge. This isn't a hard conclusion at which to arrive. In fact, it is easy.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Is....great songwriting
Like so many "smart songwriters" in the world of rocking pop music (think John Hiatt, Clive Gregson, Dwight Twilley, Tim and Neil Finn, etc), Marshall Crenshaw never seemed to get the total respect due him. Sure, he's had some breaks. Not everyone gets their songs covered by Bette Midler or gets featured in a few big budget Hollywood movies. Or for that matter, even gets to crack the top 40 at all, as Crenshaw did with "Someday Someway." It's just that musically, Crenshaw released a perfect debut to critical raves and pop success, then saw it slowly recede as he released solid albums year after year. While I am fortunate to have most of the original CDs, most of them are out of print. Most aren't even listed on Amazon as available used!

So then as usual, it's Rhino to the rescue. Gathering 22 songs from the albums up to "Miracle of Science" must have been a daunting task. After all, how could you choose what to include and omit? While I do agree that some of his later day albums get the short shrift (especially "Life's Too Short"), there is hardly a song here that I can't listen to over and over again. Like the modern day Buddy Holly he is, Crenshaw blends both a certain innocence and naivete with world weary charm, perhaps best exemplified by "This Is Easy" and "Cynical Girl."

Go ahead, just try and listen to the CD and NOT go around with at least one of the hooks bubbling around in your head for the next 36 hours. From the rockabilly shake of that first single, "Something's Gonna Happen," to the closing beauty of "Starless Summer Sky," this is pop with bits so catchy you'll think something is stuck to your shoe. Even his cover selections (Hiatt's "Somewhere Love Can't Find Me," Ben Vaughn's "I'm Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)") show the kind of affection for sophisticated pop music that would glut the radio if there were any justice in the world.

I really can't think of anything bad to say about this CD, other than the fact that I want "This is Easy, Too" to eventually show up. "Fantastic Planet Of Love," "Hold It," "Rocking Around in NYC," "Steel Strings," "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" (from "La Bamba"), "She Hates to Go Home," "Valerie," "Some Hearts," etc. about it Rhino? ... Read more

128. Jumpin' Jive
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Asin: B00000HY5I
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12287
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars The beginning of retro-swing, and still one jumpin' album!
The "retro-swing" movement of the late 1990s really started in 1981 with this album, the first genuine piece of retro-swing. In the midst of the electronic 80s era, Joe Jackson's pure hard-swingin' album covering old jazz swing classics from the 1930s and 40s was both a complete anachronism and a jolt of musical energy. It never achieved huge mainstream popularity, but has been a consistent seller since it came out and helped revive swing the 1990s. Many of the popular 1990s swing bands performed the songs that Joe Jackson covered, often sounding very close to Jackson's versions. For example, the incredible San Francisco band Lee Press-On and the Nails perform "Jumpin' with Symphony Sid" and "How Long Must I Wait for You" in their live shows in renditions that sound like direct homages to Joe Jackson.

This album still rocks the house, and it has aged better than 90% of the music from the early 1980s. It still sounds fresh, fun, and energetic, and seems to leap out of the speakers and crash right into your living room (especially with the superb re-mastering; it sounds better than it ever has). Swing is timeless music that every generation discovers and re-discovers, and Joe Jackson knew exactly how to maintain that quality in his covers. These aren't "modernizations" of the music, but THE music, just as it was enjoyed in 1930s and 1940s.

On the back of the album cover is a brief blurb the Jackson wrote in 1998 about how he got together his band (seven pieces) and recorded the album. Jackson, a man who seems to have experimented with every musical genre imaginable, sings and plays the vibes. The band isn't quite as sharp as the musicians on the originals, but they're skilled and more than make up for it with enthusiasm. Jackson's voice fits the music well, and he has fun with different voices, especially on "You Run Your Mouth and I'll Run My Business."

The songs here principally come from the early jump blues tradition and from the novelty songs of Cab Calloway. The hardest swinging piece and the big stunner of the album is the opener, "Jumpin' with Symphony Sid." Legendary saxophonist Lester Young wrote this piece in 1940s (named after a popular New York DJ), and Jackson and Co. really tear into it with high speed fury. It's joyful, jazzy, other words, it's the essence of swing.

All the other tracks are great too. "San Francisco Fan" is a slow, gritty blues from the Cab Calloway camp that is similar to two of his most popular numbers, "St. James Infirmary" and "Minnie the Moocher." Jackson growls and snarls the lyrics in a menacing way. Two other Cab Calloway covers, "The Jumpin' Jive" and "We the Cats (Shall Hep You)," let the band rip into some of the most delightful bits of scat nonsense ever written ("Reap this Righteous Riff, mop! mop!" "The Jim Jam Jump is the Jumpin' Jive makes you dig your jive on the mellow side!"). Some of the numbers come from famous jump blues singer and saxman Louis Jordan: the bluesy "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby," "You Run Your Mouth and I'll Run My Business," and the very funny "Jack Your Dead." The Jordan numbers helped re-popularize the artist in the 1990s, and his songs became the most popular for retro-swingers to cover.

Finally, Jackson attacks a number that Glenn Miller made into a #1 hit, "Tuxedo Junction." However, Jackson goes back to the original performed by Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra and makes it sassy and loud. It's one of the most inventive adaptations on the album.

On the back cover, Jackson mentions that people have always asked him if he plans to make another album like this one. His response is 'no,' because if people want to have more of the same, they should go back to the source. Although I certainly wouldn't mind a "Jumpin' Jive 2," I agree with Jackson's sentiments: this is a great 'gateway' album to introduce you to classic jazz swingers like Jordan, Young, Basie, Hawkins, and Calloway. Anyone who has enjoyed retro-swing will absolutely love this. Anyone who already loves old swing will appreciate Jackson's very respectful and high-energy covers. Heck, anyone who just loves rock or quality popular music will probably love this album. It helped revive a classic form of American music and has become a classic itself. Come on and Jump with Symphony Joe! Let it roll!

4-0 out of 5 stars THE progenitor of the current swing-jazz craze
This effort by Joe Jackson predates the current obsession with swing-jazz by a decade and was my personal introduction to that particular genre of music. I've always admired the way Joe Jackson has never been afraid to try new things, not really caring what uptight, British critics might think. Most of the songs on the album were originally done by Louis Jordan and The Tympany Five and I credit this release with turning me on to that musical master. This CD is fun and usually makes it onto the carousel at least once during the evening when we have parties at our house.

5-0 out of 5 stars Believe me, this really swings
Joe Jackson helped shape the sound of popular/punk music in the 1970s, and his first three albums are huge landmarks. But, as musical accomplishments go, even Jackson's early work pales in comparison to the much lesser-known "Jumpin' Jive," which was Jackson's fourth album (recorded in 1981). In a complete departure from anything Jackson did before (or after), this album erupts with interpretations of well-known jazz songs from the swing era of the 1940s.

"Jumpin' Jive" focuses primarily on songs made famous by two jazz artists - Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan. As Jackson emphasizes in the album's liner notes, this is NOT the intellectual, cool jazz that has come to dominate the modern jazz scene. Instead, "Jumpin' Jive" focuses on the witty, exuberant music that Calloway and Jordan helped to popularize.

Jackson claims that these songs were originally more likely to be heard in a whorehouse than in a concert hall, and I think this helps to emphasize the wild, unrestrained, and sometimes even bawdy quality of this album (well, bawdy by 1940s standards). But let's not forget that many of these songs were top-ten hits of their time (including a few number ones), so I suspect they had a listening audience beyond that era's dens of iniquity.

I'm a big fan of Calloway and Jordan, so it almost hurts me to say that on almost every cut from "Jumpin' Jive" Jackson out-swings the originals. Jackson didn't have to worry about creating music that people could actually dance to all night long, so he was able to record the songs at a much faster tempo than the original versions. As a result, the brass is really blowing steam, the drums are kicking like a bucking bronco, and the vocals are roaring around the track. Jackson throws himself with abandon into each song, and his ironic vocal delivery (a hallmark of his other work) somehow finds a way to complement the almost naïve humor of these songs.

This album is great not only for those who want a fun introduction to swing, but also for anyone who might enjoy a loving and energetic tribute to the genre.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - just buy it!
I was introduced to this disk when I was at college and it's been a favorite for over 15 years! There aren't too many disks I can say that for.

They say, "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing" and this disk certainly has plenty of great rhythm. You'll enjoy the uptempo drumming, cool bass lines, and lots of precise well-placed brass!

Jazz/swing/jive are big areas of music but this disk is a great way to get introduced. You'll hear several Louis Jordan numbers (as well as others), performed with all the fun and energy that Louis had in his originals.

This disk has a very live feel to it, despite being a studio work, and Joe really shines. I also feel that he respects the numbers as well as performing them to the max.

Jive isn't everybody's thing, but if you're reading this then you're probably interested! I don't think there's a bad track on this disk - you'll enjoy it.

4-0 out of 5 stars One Of His Best
When Joe made this LP in the early 80s, it startled everyone in the record shop I ran: here's the guy who just made two butt-kickin' New Wave classics (Look Sharp and I'm The Man), and he follows these with a huge left turn into SWING! It floored us, just floored us, and this chunk o'vinyl stayed on the store turntable for well over a year. Every time we threw it on, someone would say "WHAT IS THAT GREAT ALBUM?" Another sale. This convinced us that Joe could do anything he set his mind to, which of course was proven in spades as his career progressed. It also brought long-overdue attention to the great Louis Jordan, which didn't hurt his catalogue any, either. A classic, to be sure. BUY THIS CD! Your feet will love ya for it! ... Read more

129. Dirk Wears White Sox [Bonus Tracks]
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Asin: B0002BPIEA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 33009
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

UK remastered reissue of the glam-tinged new wave act's debut album, originally released in 1979, features seven bonus tracks, 'Whip In My Valise', 'Kick!', 'Physical', 'Cartrouble (Parts 1 & 2-Chris Hughes Mix), 'Friends', 'Cartrouble' (Single Version), & 'Kick' (Single Version). Sony. 2004. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tastefully, respectfully, and very well done
FANTASTIC! And, at last!! This remastered reissue finally gives us Dirk Wears White Sox on CD; all the original songs in their correct order. The mastering retains the dynamics of the original mixes much better than the earlier CD version on Sony/Columbia's Rewind imprint (and sounds infinitely better than the American version with the color cover). It has much of the musical feel of the original vinyl; other reissues just didn't - pardon the pun - 'do it' for me. There are some great photos, and the graphics are all very crisp. The only thing that I've found to complain about is that they failed to really nail the definitive version of the Antmusic EP (aka "the B-sides") in the bonus tracks -- the version of Kick that appears here is an alternate mix or something. It's inclusion is interesting as an obscure track, but the version that appeared on the original vinyl is unquestionably superior. The real bummer about this is that the only other place where Kick appears on CD is on "In Bondage", and the quality there is disappointing... But anyway, I can't express what a joy this CD is to have and hold! If you're curious, really, there's no reason not to buy a copy of this album. It's a real gem.

5-0 out of 5 stars So nice to FINALLY have a listenable CD of this album!
All I can say is IT'S ABOUT TIME that remastered Adam and the Ants CDs are finally available.Of course, they're only available here as imports, but oh well...

The original version of this album (on Do it! records) has always been one of my favorite albums of all time.It's sharp, witty, dense, angular, and very dark music at times but most of the tracks stand up as well today as they did in '79.The only exposure most Americans have had to this album was the remixed and resequenced (by Mr. Ant himself) version which was put out over here in the early 80's.That version was OK, but the sound quality was beyond awful.My biggest pet peeve was the song "Digital Tenderness" - it had always sounded completely limp, with not much treble and almost no bass to speak of.

Well folks, I'm here to tell ya, this remaster is a revelation for fans of this album.I just could not believe how good this sounded when I got it in the mail a few weeks ago.It seems that ALL of the grunge and harmonic distortion we always heard on these tracks is just completely gone now.The highs are extended and natural and the album now actually has bass!If you are as big of a fan of this album as I am, what the hell are you waiting for?You need this, now.

The bonus tracks are also excellent, as all the songs which were cut from the US version are now here, as well as a few important singles, and the re-made versions of Cartrouble and Kick!

Overall, definitely the biggest sonic improvement of all three new Ants remasters by a long shot.


4-0 out of 5 stars Sounds Good 25 Years Later
I hadn't heard this album since the early 80's, and I was curious if I would feel the same as I did when I was 10 years old.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I still like it. It's probably the most consistently good Ant record. It might not be quite as creative as Kings of the Wild Frontier (which many think is their greatest), but it's also not as silly. It comes across as a fairly straight forward, if quirky, not-quite-punk record that still sounds fresh 25 years later.

The first half of the album is virtually flawless. Beginning with the double classic Cartrouble, Parts 1 and 2, we go from weird & funky to rocking in 5 minutes. Digital Tenderness is a surprisingly normal rock song, one that reminds me of melodic techniques Kurt Cobain would use more than 10 years later. The same can be said for Day I Met God. I'm not sure Kurt actually liked the Ants (or would have admitted it), but the similarities are there, nonetheless.

Through the vaguely Black Sabbath sounding 9 Plan Failed and the jazzy Tabletalk, these songs run the gamut, and they are all original and intelligent.

The second half of the album doesn't quite hold up, an unfortunate trend of Antmusic. Cleopatra is good enough, a slow rocker that tries to be shocking, as does the worst song on the album; the goofy uninteresting and unclearly intentioned Catholic Day. After the so-so Never Trust A Man (the third song in a row that is more about the lyrics than the music), things end pretty well with the mildly funky Family of Noise and the odd The Idea.

As for the additional songs, this version of Xerox is 10 times better than an earlier version I had heard, with the addition of a bridge taking it to that next level. The inclusion of the Antmusic EP songs (Kick & Friends) was a nice surprise. And while the alternate versions of Cartrouble are okay, they really show that they got it right the first time. The final version of Cartrouble 2 (featuring Marco & Merrick) is interesting, however as it forshadows the sound that the Ants would be adopting with their next album.

This album shows that there was a good reason we liked Adam and the Ants. They didn't rock as hard as their contemporaries the Sex Pistols, but their music was more diverse & creative. If only Adam hadn't become so contrived (see my review of Manners & Physique), he might have become one of the greats, but it I guess it wasn't meant to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars UK Version
I just had to comment on the review before mine saying that a lot of these songs are on "Antics in the Forbidden Zone" (which is just a compilation album).

The thing is, a lot of the other songs on this album are available _only_ on this UK version of Adam and the Ants' first album, so the fact that this album has finally been released on CD is very important to all of us hardcore Adam fans! Wooooo! (And I've always preferred this first version of the album over the second version.)

5-0 out of 5 stars true ant style
a lot of these songs are on antics in the forbidden zone. Very good songs in true ant style. ... Read more

130. Welcome Home
list price: $9.98
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Asin: B00000266N
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 21163
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Aimee Mann's resurgence as a solo artist with the Magnolia soundtrack returned scrutiny to her early work with Boston's 'Til Tuesday. There are moments on the group's second album ("On Sunday," "David Denies," "No One Is Watching You Now") that contain the sense of romance and loss that fuel her solo work. However, the period production is not always in sympathy with the sentiments. Cavernous echo and other glossy, mid-'80s touches nearly overwhelm the songs. It's a testament to Mann's skills that some songs shine through. Welcome Home will ultimately prove pleasing to those who came of age in the '80s, as well as Mann completists. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars 'Til Tuesday's best album and Aimee Mann's best lyrics
"Welcome Home," the second album from 'Til Tuesday evinces a strong move away from the minimalist musical style of their debut effort while again featuring the sophisticated lyrics of Aimee Mann. This is an artist where attention must be paid to the lyrics. Read "Coming Up Close" and you will know that Aimee Mann is a poet writing on a level that sets her apart from the vast majority of contemporary songwriters. Again, the music serves to highlight the lyrics, setting them up in appropriate contexts, from the pounding chords of "Will She Just Fall Down" to the dramatic rhythms of "David Denies" to the soulful simplicity of "No One Is Watching You Now." The matching of lyrical moods with musical styles is exquisite and Mann's vocals are becoming equally suited to the task. It is not surprising that she would embark on a solo career since the best tracks on the album, clearly the best of the group's three efforts, are those she wrote by herself. But above all else . . . listen to the lyrics.

4-0 out of 5 stars I fell in love with Aimee's music...
...with this album. I bought it when it first came out, having been entranced by the first single, "What About Love." Now, almost 15 years later, that song doesn't seem to hold up quite as well as others on the album. Yet, the CD is endlessly listenable... and a vast improvement over 'til Tuesday's first album.

Although WELCOME HOME sounds a bit dated with its heavy synth sound and glossy production, many of Aimee's greatest songs may be found here. "Coming Up Close" remains to this day my favorite song of hers. "David Denies," "Will She Just Fall Down," "Lovers' Day" and "No One Is Watching You Now" are also terrific.

All in all, an excellent effort.

3-0 out of 5 stars Aimee Mann Starting To Climb The Mountain
A few years ago, I became smitten with the music of Aimee Mann as a solo artist. From her very first album, "Whatever", she wrote brilliant, provocative songs with lovely melodies and harmonies coming from every angle. This surprised me at first, because the only other Aimee Mann related album that I had at that point was 'til Tuesday's debut album "Voices Carry" which I had bought for the title track alone, and which, in my opinion was one booooring album.

As it turned out, my curiosity about more Aimee Mann music outweighed my reticence about 'til Tuesday, and I bought this sophomore effort from the band. And while the quality of this album did not come close to that shown by Aimee Mann as a solo artist, it was a definite improvement over 'til Tuesday's debut.

My favorite songs on this album are the beautiful and poignant, "David Denies" and "Have Mercy" which show the thoughtful lyrics and pretty harmonies which would become a hallmark of Aimee Mann music, for this listener at least. I also like the song, "Will She Just Fall Down" - it's a pretty, bouncy song with nice lyrics.

Highlights aside, I have a couple of major problems with this album...To this reviewer, at least, the rest of the songs seem kind of nondescript and lightweight. There is also a problem with the overall sound of the album...I'm usually not one to criticize the production of an album because to me, when all is said and done, it's the songs/music which make the album. However, the sound of this album is extremely muddy - I don't know if it's a lot of reverb or whatever...But this album lacks the clarity of anything that Aimee Mann would put out subsequently (including the lovely final 'til Tuesday album, "Everything's Different Now").

In sum, this album has three really nice songs and a bunch of nondescript songs which, due to whatever production technique was used, are all kind of muddy sounding. I wouldn't say that this is a bad album, but I wouldn't say it's a particularly good one either - but it does point Aimee Mann in the right direction as it was better than the first 'til Tuesday record...RECOMMENDED FOR THE AIMEE MANN COMPLETIST ONLY...2.5 stars which I'll round up to 3.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superlative!!
This is truly one of the best albums of all time. Of course, this is probably because Aimee Mann is one of the greatest songwriters and vocalists of all time -- a true musical genius. I've been listening to this album since around 1987, and never get tired of it. Don't even think that the quality goes down on the B side -- it's first class all the way!!

4-0 out of 5 stars til tuesday's second album is lonely, sad, good.
For viewers who want to go to the next chapter of 'til tuesday after Voices Carry, welcome back, or should I say Welcome Home?

First up, the melancholy is still there, but it's more polished.
Gone are the dirge-like wails that characterized Voices Carry. Aimee Mann's voice is stronger here, but with just as much feeling.

The two singles, "What About Love" and "Coming Up Close" are good openers. "What About Love" seemed more accessible. "Coming Up Close" shows 'til tuesday's slight dip in the waters of country. I wonder if any female country musicians have covered this tune--lyrically and thematically, it has the right feel for a country ballad.

"David Denies" and "Lover's Day" are two examples. "Lover's Day" demonstrates how high a register Aimee Mann can go one moment and then drop down very low. It's also one of the stronger songs on the album.

"Sleeping And Waking" has an opening melody that would later be utilized in "Fifty Years After The Fair" from Aimee Mann's Whatever.

"Angels Never Call" is curiously the first 'til tuesday where it is a woman being sung about instead of a man. The verse "angels never help you/because angels always fall" might as well proceed from the saying "What goes up, must come down." So, Satan is not the only fallen angel. That figures.

Best for last: "No One Is Watching You Now" is a haunting sad song (all of them are), about the emptiness afterward and why the narrator is so, so sad. To illustrate: "Something has torn me apart/oh but what do I care/about watching my heart/I know that sadness bleeds through/and my sadness for me/is now sadness for you."

The songcraft is more polished here than on Voices Carry. The theme of loneliness competes for sadness on this. Look at the lyrics and see how many times "loneliness" or "sadness" pops up. ... Read more

131. Laughing Stock
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Asin: B000001FZK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 18665
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Dreamy and loose, Talk Talk's Laughing Stock turns 180 degrees away from the '80s pop sound of It's My Life and runs headlong into a web of Brian Eno, avant-garde, jazz, and experimental structure. The songs ache with languid phrases and the naked, vulnerable voice of Mark Hollis, the only element of the band that remains perceptible from their verse-chorus-verse past. The bashing, off-time clatter of "Ascension Day"; the impossibly patient organ motif snaking into a wailing guitar string in "After the Flood"; the terrifying, beautiful silences that engulf "Runeii" and "Myrrhman"; and the teetering, defenseless vocal Hollis lays down on "New Grass"--it all adds up to a stellar, shockingly original work that shreds all pretense of genre limitations, finding a transcendence in the light and shadow of musical color. --Matthew Cooke ... Read more

Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars Laughing Stock
This is how music should be.

I will never tire of Talk Talk's final album Laughing Stock. From their first album until The Colour of Spring (1986) Talk Talk very definitely held my attention. The Colour of Spring is one of the best albums of the 8o's, no questions asked. And then they released 1988's Spirit of Eden. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. A total departure from where 'Life's What You Make it' seemed to say they were heading. I love Colour of Spring, but Spirit of Eden is something else. The first three songs from that album are worth the price alone.

And then there is Laughing Stock. It takes off where Spirit of Eden began, and i have heard nothing like it since. I've heard some acts emulate it, or incorporate its textures (Cowboy Junkies, Portishead come to mind), but no one will ever come close to what Talk Talk achieved on Laughing Stock.

I remember listening to this album for the first time, and realised that this is how the music industry should always have been. Displaying great pieces of creativity with support and pride. yeah right, like you can expect that. And that this album got deleted immediately is no surprise. 6 songs in all, but this album is so beautiful it goes beyond words. It incorporates Delta Blues, Mingus jazz, psychedelia, orchestral bombast and subtlety all in 6 songs. I have never heard anything like it before or since, and I miss Talk Talk as a group ever since. But if this is how they chose to go out, I can only commend them for going out with a style that is rarely seen in the music business.

The main theme of Laughing Stock seems to be about Redemption. Anyone familiar with Christian doctrine regarding Revelations will know what Ascension Day may refer to. This whole album seems to wrestle with the divine and the human. The limitations we feel as humans to overcome our deepest fears and drives. From the beginning of Myrrhman through til Taphead, these ruminations are explored lyrically and musically. This whole album seems like the journey of a soul. The reason that 'New Grass' seems a light relief is not only a musical one. Whats explored in After The Flood and Taphead seems an allusion to the fable of Noah and his Ark. And that 'New Grass' seems to imply that Hope is found once again after a great deluge only adds to the imagery and sonic explorations of Laughing Stock.

Laughing Stock is a summers day. It is the dead of night. Its so many things from song to song that I have always seen this work as a goal to aim for. As a musician, composer, you owe it to yourself to find and buy this album. As a music listener or lover, you owe it to yourself to find and buy this album. The only other album I can think of that is such a one of a kind is Kate Bush's The Dreaming. You hear it, and realise there is nothing like it. Thats what its all about. Thats what it should always be.

Laughing Stock. One of the best albums of the 9o's, and by far one of the best albums ever released. I'd actually beg you to buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A melancholy angel, yearning for a loved one back on Earth..
would listen to this album in heaven. Talk Talk's Laughing Stock is a completely unclassifiable bit of sonic brilliance. Biased? Perhaps, but only due to the fact that I've listened to the album. The songs are tied together by Mark Hollis's wonderfully fragile voice. Silence plays a major roles in songs such as Runeii, while Ascension Day ends with a loud wall of sound only to collapse into the hushed intro of After the Flood. Even with noisy shots of distortion injected into songs, there is a content, Zen-like calm feel to the album. While oftentimes Laughing Stock could be classified as ambient, the music is liquid, twisting and changing constantly. It is by no means accessible, expect no instant gratification, but a focused listener will find that once you hear this album, your life is changed. With an album like this, you won't need to buy anything else for months. This is the sort of album to play at night, staring into the dark, with nothing in mind but the music. A major touchstone for the 90's post rock bands, anyone that considers themselves fans of experimental music owes it to themselves to listen to this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Holy Jeez...
This is one of the most absolutely beautiful albums I have ever heard. Most of the songs contain little structure, and the outbursts of sound seem as though they were instantly inspired. A slow, sad, and beautiful album that almost makes me ache to hear. Plus these guys wrote that song that No Doubt covered, "It's My Life." Wow, they can do it all.

5-0 out of 5 stars No other album like it
When I bought this album in 1992 I wasn't ready. I was a huge fan of Talk Talk, right up until the album that came before (Spirit of Eden, which is brilliant by the way...). I loved the departure from pop for them. In fact, it was the quiet, dark, atonal moments in the previous albums that, for me, made Talk Talk stand out. But Laughing Stock was thick where I wanted thin, liquid where I wanted solid. I sold it a year later feeling sure it was brilliant and that I was missing out on something wonderful, but unable to appreciate it.

Laughing Stock was an album you couldn't be prepared for because there was nothing like it. Even it's predecessor Spirit of Eden couldn't prepare the listener for the murky, uneasy, passionate journey that Laughing Stock is. Other reviewers have said it was ahead of it's time. If that was true in 1992, it's even more true now. Mainstream music is, with the exception of the last 3 Radiohead albums, still ignorant of this album. Laughing Stock is like pure grief in that the only way to make sense of it is to let go, let it wash over you and not try to make sense of it at all. It is painfully brilliant, hugely musical and very peace-inducing if you can surrender to it. It's not an album to dance to, or to try to decipher in one evening and I don't think there's one hook on the whole thing. It's the kind of album you put on over and over again until suddenly you notice that everything else starts to sound kind of hollow and trite in comparison.

I once read an article with the engineer who explained that every instrument was recorded from a distance (most instruments in pop music are recorded with the microphones only inches away) and almost always in mono. The drums, for example, were recorded with one microphone from about 10 feet away instead of the traditional rock setup with a mic about 2 inches away from every drum, mixed in stereo and compressed to be full, loud and immediate. Nothing in Laughing Stock is immediate, especially the vocals, which (again, breaking tradition with 99.999% of all pop recordings) have no special priority over any other instrument and, as a result, are often buried in the mix. Silence and space play an important roll in this album as does the complex and often adversarial relationship between harmony and disonance.

Years later, after hearing 'Tago Mago' by Can, 'Kind of Blue' and 'Bitches Brew' by Miles Davis, I stumbled upon an old tape copy I'd made of 'Laughing Stock' and was overwhelmed by it's brilliance. What had before seemed aloof and impenetrable felt intimate and almost painfully, passionately naked. I ran to my nearest record store (back when we had record stores) and bought my second copy feeling a lot like a man who has realized his error only a moment before it was too late. I put the CD in my CD player and played it constantly for about a year.

By the time 'Kid A' came out by Radiohead I felt unsurprised. 'Kid A' was great. I'm a big fan. But for me, it wasn't revolutionary, it wasn't groundbreaking. I had already been to the source.

Laughing Stock is deep stuff, and there there is no other album quite like it. If you like modern Radiohead, if you like Tom Waits, if you love Can, Holger Czukay, or David Sylvian, you will probably love this album. But you won't love it right away. Give it time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably, even unbearably emotional, but, so beautiful
The jazzy "Colour Of Spring" and less accessible "Spirit Of Eden" might have firmly moved Talk Talk out of the 1980s synth-pop that never suited Hollis' mumbling, but plaintive vocals, but it was only with "Laughing Stock" that Talk Talk really came of age.

Reduced to a basic trio of Hollis, Tim Friese-Greene and Lee Harris as a result of the departure of bassist Paul Webb, the effect was very clearly felt. The first song, "Myrrhman", might seem almost to be just soft and roughly orchestrated strings and horns upon first listen, but after a few listens the logic behind the interceptions of a few repeated notes on acoustic guitar begins to surface because of the fact that this guitar is part of the orchetration. The deep, mumbling vocals are the perfect complment: this is stark, simple music where the whole purpose is to use the most limited talents of as many people as possible.

Nothing on Talk Talk's previous output will prepare one for the following two tracks. As Mark Hollis imagines himself seeking redemption on "Ascension Day" and "After The Flood", he injects the orchestrated rock (piano, organ, strings, trumpet, contrabass clarinet) with an intensity that is starker than punk ever was. This virginal music reaches an absolute apogee every time Hollis guitar releases the tension because we see how important each part is to the unbelievable sense of despair conveyed. Every word from Hollis - and there are not that many - managed to sound as if he was literally and deeply frightened of his future.

The second half, perhaps out of necessity, was a release of the tension of the virginal music of the first side, but the austerity did not let go until the stings and horns on the amazing, wordless "Taphead" move with a flow that almost suggest classical music, yet Hollis in the early and closing parts of "Taphead" showed that the move towards a rawer sound was for real with the sparsest electric guitar you will hear. So simple and soft is it that one really feels every note: the absence of Paul Webb freed Hollis in a surprising and overlooked manner to bare his soul in a way that fits the album's altogether depressing tone: Hollis gives each word the intensity of a pain most people would never overcome, unlike the often joyful tone of earlier Talk Talk songs like "April 5th".

The closer "Runeii" was reflective, wordless again and truly piano-based, whilst "New Grass", at almost ten minutes, seemed to sum up the orchestral, deep yet virginal sound of the five other tracks.

"Laughing Stock" is a record that will truly make you feel about your music. So emotional are the few words on it that its depressing character actually gets the music under one's skin. There is almost no record like that - anywhere. ... Read more

132. Love Life
list price: $6.98
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Asin: B000000OXQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 22769
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Hailing from California, Berlin's early music was flavored with early '80s Europop. At the end of their career, the original lineup fragmented, and the band changed musical directions so completely, it rendered the group nearly invisible. Love Life fell in the middle, and represents Berlin's career peak, musically and commercially. Pop rock sex kitten Terri Nunn keeps it quiet during most of the album. Ballads "When We Make Love" and "For All Tomorrow's Lies" hover in a dreamy perk. Chart topping finale "No More Words" is an unforgiving rage channeled through Nunn's powerful pipes. --Beth Bessmer ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Quintessential 80's album
I dug out this album the other day and listened to it. Flashback to the early 80's when I was just a young teenager. After all these years, this album still sounds good; it doesn't sound too dated as most 80's albums do. Berlin seemed to be a sadly overlooked 80's band, which I don't see why, because if you listen to them, they were the epitome of cool. They were singing about the taboo of sex long before Madonna claimed she was the one who brought it to the forefront. The songs are very synth-heavy, but Terri Nunn's rather strong vocals makes the album stand apart. Listen to the opening track "When we Make Love" and hear how her voice soars. Other essential tracks are "Touch," "In My Dreams," and "No More Words." Some of the slower songs border on lounge and cheesy, but overall the album is a must for fans of 80's music.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Berlin album Everyone Remembers...
Despite the overplayed popularity status of No More Words this was one atmospheric and moody synthesized production. That's a good thing . Berlin's Love Life project demonstrated they were true pioneers and leaders in the genre of new wave pop for the 80's...They were the poster-children American pop band for the musical world with their GQ and Vogue looks. Underneath it all there was genuine artistic skills and innovativeness that emitted through.

From the earth bass synthesized rumbling of the opening track When We Make Love to the frenetically charged and provocatively produced Touch the listener is taken through a world of love,life, relationships,and yes, revenge all sleeked up by retro 40's stylish/noirish videos and album photos ! The Euro dance sound of Dancing In Berlin was a tribute to German synthesized pop a la Kraftwerk style. In My Dreams has to be the album's most catchy hook laden tune that harkened the seriousness of the song Pleasure Victim (from the album by the same title). The track Pictures Of You was pure MTV pop rock material for that time period along with it's California based New Wave West Coast sound.Finally, the ballads were warm and intelligible without becoming fluff fodder or filler;they maintained their warmth despite being heavily covered in the synth technology of the time...

Love Life was Berlin's most popular album because it was a refined version of the previous mini EP Pleasure Victim and was not as highly experimental and distracting as their 1986 Count Three and Pray cd ! Love Life is the essential Berlin cd to obtain from the 80's...

5-0 out of 5 stars Love Life
Love Life~ Berlin is an excellent album from a group that is like fine wine. The songs are very nice and the lyrics are not great but very good.

4-0 out of 5 stars Polished second album for Berlin
Love Life finds Berlin honing their brand of upbeat synth New Wave into something more polished, and it's an improvement, although there aren't any songs that are risque as their notorious single from Pleasure Victim.

The raciest song by far is the leading one, "When We Make Love," from the POV of a stripper or performer in a risque act, or maybe a starlet in a triple-X movie. If it's the latter, that's quite a twist, as she labels the viewer as her fantasy. I detect influences from Blondie's "Atomic" here.

The extramarital affair on "Touch" tells it from the woman's POV, where she learns that her date's married, and asks him if he'll remember her, only not to hear from him. The casualness of the affair is given when she says "You can take me home and tear my clothes off." The rapid-fire synths and blaring guitar is something Quarterflash would appropriate on "Walking On Ice" on their Back Into Blue. One of the best songs here. A similar tempo and sound can be found on "Pictures Of You"

"Beg, Steal Or Borrow" is notable for having a synth rhythm which may have been taken from "Boogie Shoes" with a rhythm guitar like "Every Breath you Take."

Another standout tune comes with "Now It's My Turn." What does Nunn have to say about a lover who's deserted here: "Now it's my turn/You hurt me then/I'll never let you hurt me again." A further warning to the perpetrator: "Don't think you'll get away/The pain has just begun." This was included on their greatest hits album.

Giorgio Moroder's association with Berlin began here, as he and Richie Zito produced two songs. The first is "Dancing In Berlin" on the divisions between mysterious Communist East Berlin and open and free-spirited West Berlin, including the line "Please, there's no wall in front of you." The other is the Top 30 single "No More Words" featuring a funky bass synth backbeat while louder keyboards and electric guitars snarl. The concept of all words but no action backing those words leads to the title being sung, followed by "you're telling me you love me while you're looking away." Nunn sings of "looking for a long romance/not a picture of passion or one time chance."

"Rumor Of Love" is notable in its being sung by one of the male members of the band, and his delivery along with the rhythm section makes this like a Cars song.

The shakiness of people in love is behind the bittersweet and cynical "For All Tomorrow's Lies." Although the song extols pairs to stay together as one, but things aren't that easy: "They tell you 'try to have hope.'/And fight for all you can/these words, you've heard them before/so easy to believe." The version included on their greatest hits is a ballad remix that matches the gloominess of the song, and not the upbeat synth version here.

"Fall" is a low-tempo number of coming alive in love. The guitars here echo the sound Berlin would encompass in Count Three And Pray. The frantic, giddy tempo of "Lost In The Crowd" rounds out the album and it rivals the tempo of "Touch." It too, has the same hard guitar of "Fall" while remaining true to its New Wave sound.

The definitive Berlin sound is demonstrated here, with the last two songs a hint of things to come. Before that, Berlin would emulate Genesis, read "And then there were three." Guitarists Dave Diamond and Ric Olsen would leave, as would keyboardist Matt Reid leaving behind original members Terri Nunn and John bassist/synth-man Crawford, and Robert Brill (drums). All they had to was count three and...pray.

4-0 out of 5 stars Berlin's Best
After seeing Berlin on VH1's "Band's Reunited," I had to dig through my old tapes to see what I had on this great band. As it turns out, I had "Pleasure Victim" and this album, "Love Life."

I put on "Love Life" and was amazed at how good the music still sounded. It's hard for me to believe this album and its predecesor were released 20+ years ago; it still sounds fresh! And Terri Nunn's voice... man, I was reminded what a great voice she had. On every song, from the pop hits ("No More Words") to the ballads ("Fall), her voice is picture perfect.

Speaking of "Fall," I'd have to say this has become my favorite song on the album. It's not a song that many people single out on this album, but I feel it deserves merit. John Crawford's lyrics flow like poetry when sung by Terri Nun:

"Colors all around;
Smile, cry, then laugh out loud
Feel the autumn breeze
Come alive..."

But now I see it's out of print??!! C'mon. Well, at least there are some good deals on out there as far as used CDs are concerned.

If you've never heard Berlin before, this is a good album to start out with. You'll get hits like "No More Words," "For All Tomorrow's Lies," "Dancing in Berlin," and "When We Make Love," as well as hidden gems like "Fall." Whether you're in an 80's mood or just want something "new" to listen to, this is a great place to start. ... Read more

133. The Lexicon Of Love
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B00000I2PG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9128
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Album Details

Digitally Remastered, with Two Extra Tracks:Look of Love Pt4 and theTheme from Mantrap. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definition of Style
1981: Just when you thought you had heard every David Bowie and Bryan Ferry imitator to warble his discontented angst into the wind, along came ABC. They were smart like Bowie, fashion-mad like Ferry, and (before he became producer du jour) sonically adventurous with Trevor Horn at the dials. Lyrically witty to the point of brilliant, "The Look Of Love" remains a sonic marvel. It combined the lush orchestrations of disco with the propulsion of Motown, with enough English mannerisms to broach "new wave." Horn's production touches also made it sound completely unlike anything else on the radio or dancefloors at the time.

Yet there was more than a dreaded one hit wonder here. Songs like "Poison Arrow" and "Tears Are Not Enough" had more hooks than a hardware department and made radio sound vibrant in the early 80's. Lead Singer Martin Fry also had the looks down for the early generation of MTV, and the high style of the band's early videos (including one of the earliest longform music vid/movies in "Mantrap") gave them the extra boost that they needed to conquer the US. But what really mattered was, and remains, the music. "The Lexicon Of Love" has held its original splendor years after many of the other MTV bands of the period have lost their sheen. This was one of the first CD's I bought when Disc players were relatively new, and the remaster here, as it does with Roxy Music's "Avalon," brings out even more of the original disc's depth and sparkle. I can't imagine my record collection without "The Lexicon of Love."

5-0 out of 5 stars 80¿s landmark by Martin Fry & co...
This is quite simply one of the landmark albums of the 80's and one which sounds as fresh today as when it first released in 1982. I first heard ABC through the single Tears Are Not Enough, I have to say that I wasn't all that impressed. The next couple of singles though (Poison Arrow, The Look Of Love & All Of My Heart) hooked me on this band, which sounded like no other at this time. Most albums are essentially the singles with a lot of fillers on (some good, others not so good), this album quite simply keeps up the high standard all the way through - I've even re-evaluated Tears Are Not Enough.

There a number of reasons why this album is regarded so highly. You can start with Martin Frys exquisite lyrical genius, oozing romanticism (not the New kind either). You can add the lush strings of Anne Dudley (Art Of Noise) into the mix. You can then finish off with a polished production by Trevor Horn, although you also can't forget the gorgeous backing vocals by Tessa Webb.

Outstanding tracks on an outstanding album : Valentine's Day, The Look Of Love (the breathy spoken refrain), All Of My Heart. This album was re-released with some extra tracks on a couple of years ago. Don't even think about it, just get this one. The Lexicon Of Love is too perfect to be heard in any other form, all you need is the original 10 tracks and a stereo you can turn up fairly loud. This is an album for all music lovers transcending most genres with its sheer gorgeousness.

When I heard this album back in 1982, I knew this was to be a sure shot classic. ABC puts together a self-assured, fashionable dive in creating such classy, tuneful dance pop songs with such first-rate literal and metaphoric style with "Lexicon Of Love". Every fantastic track on this CD shines with enhanced sonic clarity thanks in part to the fantastic production by Trevor Horn. Simply a must have for any collection!

5-0 out of 5 stars Outshines every record put out in the 80s
To me, this is one of the best albums ever recorded. Unlike much of what was released in the 80s, this album not only stands the test of time, it gets better with each listen. I truly believe that no CDcollection is complete without this materpiece. Brilliantly produced by Trevor Horn, the album flows like a river. There is not one bad song in the bunch, and Martin Fry's vocals give the right amount of emtion to his smart lyrics. This is one of those albums that I would take with me to a deserted island - yes, it's that good. Highly recommended. Brilliant

5-0 out of 5 stars New Wave Excellence!!!
I first saw these guys on MTV many moons ago and thought to myself, "Dorks." The music was pretty good but they all looked too nerdy, and being a young teenager at the time I wasn't about to be stigmatized as somebody who listens to ABC. What a mistake that was. It wasn't until I was 32-years-old that I started to feel a nostalgia for the glory days of New Wave. So I started exploring the possibilities. I picked up "Dare" by The Human League (finally), and then I convinced myself to get this album. The music is both catchy and intricate, while never coming off goofy. The real star of this album is producer Trevor Horn. His contribution to the album cannot be measured. All the instruments are crisp and vital, memorable genius. This is a must-have for anyone with even the slightest interest in 80s New Wave. This is a sparkling gem. ... Read more

134. Autoamerican [Bonus Tracks]
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Asin: B00005MNP6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 53300
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars The classic culmination of postmodern pop
In 1980, at the height of their success and the apex of "new wave" rock music, Blondie released this daring and wildly eclectic album. At the time it infuriated narrow-minded rock critics but spawned two of the greatest #1 singles of the era ("The Tide Is High" which took reggae to the top of the U.S. charts, and "Rapture" the first hit to open the floodgates for rap music). A truly revolutionary moment in American pop music, the album defied all expectations by plundering every genre in sight: in addition to reggae and rap, it incorporates classical, disco, jazz, country, art-rock, punk, and even a showtune (from "Camelot"). With it, Blondie introduced millions of fans to a wider concept of what a pop band could embrace stylistically. This long-awaited reissue also features bonus tracks including the full-length version of their rock classic "Call Me" and the ten-minute extended "Rapture" -- but perhaps its biggest surprise will be for those who thought Deborah Harry only started singing jazz in the nineties (check out the irresistible forties-style "Here's Looking At You" and the brilliantly moody "Faces"). This is an album that has something for everyone, but despite its diversity it is distinctly Blondie: no other rock band (with the possible exception of the Beatles) ever had the combination of artistic adventurousness, prodigious talent, brains, and sheer chutzpah required to create an album like this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blondie manages to extend their number ones
Blondie and the producer Mike Chapman are very experimental on this album. It's 1980 and besides being superstars in the rest of the world, Blondie did already have their US #1 hits Call me and Heart of Glass.

Autoamerican proves that Blondie is in evolution! Dance rap on Rapture, dance kind reggea on the The tide is high, a beautiful Angels on the balcony an (almost) intrumental ode for Europe: the beauty Europa, jazz like songs such as Faces and Here's a looking at you.

This remastered verion contains a great long version of the American Gigilo soundtrack Call Me so it contains three US #1 !

Blondie's mission was completed with this album : to settle theirselves as a supergroup in their domestic country: the USA a well chosen album title: Autoamerican, you may ask yourself are they paranormal or something?

5-0 out of 5 stars An Angel on the Balcony
If "Parallel Lines" is Blondie's greatest collection of songs - snappy, clever and direct, in ideal compliance with their standing as the perfect pop group - their 1980 "Autoamerican" is their greatest album, one that is dignified and complete, perfect in its total unity and harmony. Ironically it is at a time when Blondie were most alienated as a group that they sound most like a band, a contradiction evoked in the record's beautiful cover art.

On "Autoamerican" Blondie, in spirit at least, step outside New York and breathe in the vast scope and beauty of America. The record's opening sequence Europa, a somewhat intellectual concept of the automobile voiced robotically by Harry, is the statement of intent, giving way to the perfect disco bass of Live it Up, containing one of Blondie's great lines: "you know its so passé/to sleep without you every day". Go Through It cruises along an open highway with tender love and gutsy charm. Do the Dark, tinged with North African allusion, is a shadowy and mysterious invitation to "do the Sidewalk Hustle/do the Invisible Dance" and is one of Blondie's most intoxicating songs.

Admittedly The Tide is High becomes increasingly easy to skip over as the album's finest moments become even more alluring; The old time dance-hall number Here's Looking at You - lazy, smoky and poignant, voiced through a glass of bourbon while pining for Monroe. The immortal Rapture, cooler now than it ever was, and a significant piece of pop culture in itself, pin-pointing the exact moment when the New York elite chose hip-hop over power pop. Evoking Basquait and Warhol as effortlessly as it does huge yellow taxi cabs and brownstone buildings; space mutants and b-movies; Coca Cola and Studio 54.

In fact there is not a song on Autoamerican that does not shimmer in the searing heat of a Manhattan summer, not least Jimmy Destri's sublime Angels on the Balcony. Lucid, warm and effervescent, it is imbued with magic and a bittersweet nostalgia and is perhaps the most beautiful song Blondie ever recorded, where Harry's touching vocal is both as cool and as sweet as vanilla ice-cream.

Walk Like Me is Destri's call to arms, invoking the individual in a grid locked, press frenzied America where everyone's merely a number - "change the way you comb your hair and watch what you walk under" states Harry over Clem Burke's stabbing drum punches, before straining angrily "why don't you walk like me?". The record closes with Harry's lovely rendition of the Lerner & Lowe classic Follow Me, as if one needs proof that Blondie, despite their modern sensibility, belong in all times, any time. Genius.

5-0 out of 5 stars '' rapture'' when listening to this album
As it can be seen, "Rapture" is one of my favorite tracks from this album. I actually got this album for the Disco Version of "Rapture" because it had been unavailable for many years. I love it! This is one of the first rap songs, although it came after "Rapper's Delight". That might have been an inspiration for this song. I also like the "Tide Is High". It's a fun track. Lower BPM, but it is still great. Finally, this album contains the Long Version of "Call Me". It is amazing! This is the first time it has been released on Blondie CD in this version! It's worth it for just "Call Me" and "Rapture" in the long versions.

5-0 out of 5 stars RAPTURE!!!
The band has really came a long way and they have just entered a new decade. The '80s! Disco was out and new things were coming in from all directions. The release of AUTOAMERICAN in November of 1980 did some good things for the band. Each track was different and went another way. "The Tide Is High" was reggae, "Live It Up" was a disco type, and "Rapture", well was rap! "Rapure" and "The Tide Is High" both shot to number 1. "Rapture" was the first rap song to reach number 1. AUTOAMERICAN is really an experience in the band's history and one of there greatest albums along with PARALLEL LINES and EAT TO THE BEAT. ... Read more

135. Oh No It's Devo/Freedom Of Choice
list price: $17.99
our price: $17.99
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Asin: B000005RT0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 48415
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Album Details

Devo's Third and Fifth Studio Albums (Possibly their Best) on One CD; Their 1980 Breakthrough LP 'Freedom of Choice' and 1982 Title 'oh No! It's Devo'. Featuring the Group's Largest Hits to Date, 'Whip It', 'Freedom of Choice' and 'Girl U Want', plus a Remix: 'Peek-A-Boo (Dance Velocity)'. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Freedom: 4 1/2 stars, Oh No: 3 stars
By virtue of getting "Freedom Of Choice" along with the not so stellar "Oh No It's Devo" on one disc, this CD is worth the money. It is an interesting comparison, since "F.O.C." was Devo's last dirty sounding record and "Oh No" sported Roy Thomas Baker's typical sterile uber-clean polish job.

"Freedom Of Choice" was where DEVO's world-view was overtaken by a case of pop-smarts. The synths had moved almost entirely to the fore, and there was an obvious attempt at disciplined song writing. It shows most obviously on "Girl You Want" and "Gates Of Steel." The very un-devoish longing in "Girl You Want" is universal enough to have found its way into the set lists of artists ranging from Soundgarden to Robert Palmer.

This is, along with "Q: Are We Not Men," the Devo album that integrates the theory on De-evolution most completely to the music. The title track mocks the how submissive we are when it comes to culture/consumer manipulation, while "Whip It" strings together a catalog of catch phrases and self-help mantras into a crackling three minute anthem. On the side of human conditions, "Mr. B's Ballroom" cocks its eye at the kind of hole-in-the-wall establishment where best friends drink and start fights before crashing through the plate glass door. (Likely while "Whip It" is playing on the jukebox.)

Just as important, this was the album that most people probably measure their knowledge of DEVO by. "Whip It" became the kind of song that college new-wave parties did the pogo to, and corporate rallies would chant along with as a morale enhancer. By making synthesizer rock safe for frat boys, "Freedom Of Choice" is easily the second of DEVO's crowning albums.

Oh no, suffered from a lack of ideas. Unfortunately, DEVO, who had already proven they [used] the latest gizmo many times over, used on their 5th album that detracted from their strengths. Just about every song here is dependent on pitch control voice manipulation, which made all the vocals sound like they were being sung by Mark Mothersbaugh's ... helium ... twin. It also didn't help that producer Roy Thomas Baker forces the edges off the band's sound. The synths here sound slavishly of the moment, as opposed to leading the movement.

Those are the bad patches. The good stuff is still here. "Peek-a-boo!" is willfully creepy in much the same way "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA" from "Duty Now For The Future" was, and "That's Good" should have been a dance floor smash (and if you are old enough to remember the TV show "Square Pegs," they played it at the high school dance!). "Speed Racer" does benefit from its quirky time signature, and finally, "Patterns" gives us another insightful glimpse at the theories of De-evolution.

Also of note are "Big Mess" and "I Desire." Both were written after the assassination attempt on President Reagan and the eventual discovery that the assassin was doing it to impress Jodie Foster. It inspired the immortal line (from "I Desire") "A smile I might bring you is more important than world peace." Now THAT'S truly Devo!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of Devo
Simply put. These are Devo's two best albums. If you're looking to get into the band, this is the best place to start. Essential.

5-0 out of 5 stars Complete albums with bonus tracks.
Inexpensive and has some tracks previously available only on 45's.

Their two most "pop" albums on one disk.

I bought all three of these DEVO 2 on 1 imports years ago when they first came out.I would highly recommend them to any fan or collector."OH NO IT'S DEVO"and "Freedom OF Choice"are both excellent."OH NO"The later release has a smoother digital pop-synth sound.The songs are very good."Peek a Boo","Explosions","Big Mess"and "Speed Racer"are among the best DEVO songs ever.The others though perhaps less serious and more fun are ALL good as well."Freedom"is just a total DEVO classic,period.We all have heard"Whip IT".This album has some great DEVO guitar("Girl U Want","Freedom") but is still primarily a synth album.The title track is one that I think says a lot about taking our freedom for granted.The video is interesting in how the song is sung by a space alien that is observing our society."Gates of Steel"is also a definite standout.The others are all great songs as well.Although most DEVO fans prefer the first two albums perhaps for the excellent guitar playing,there is no denying these two later pop oriented releases.They're just as valid and definitely stand up on their own.They belong in anyones collection of essential DEVO.

5-0 out of 5 stars DEVO's best...hands down!
These two records on the same CD mean that you're getting the best this band ever had to offer in one CD. Oh No, the later of the two, exhibits more songs with a "digital" synth flavor, displays more mastery in the final mix. Freedom Of Choice obviously rings of a different time. More guitars, less of a "clean" sounding mix - but from this record sprung forth "Whip It", which is pretty much their siren song. I only owned two of DEVO's vinyl records and these were it - kind of shocking to find them together. Of the two, Oh No! seems to contain better songs and songwriting - with a little more control in their spastic tendencies. Freedom Of Choice lags a little in terms of mix (which sounds like it was done in an Akron basement). Either way, you're not going to get much better from any more of this band's music. Top notch. Buy it now, be a spud. ... Read more

136. Dare / Love & Dancing
list price: $16.98
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007MB2U
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 29953
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Perfecting fusing electronic music with infectiously catchy songwriting, Dare is one of the best selling electronicalbums of all time. For this special remastered reissue,the entire Love and Dancing album (arguably the earliestexample of a remix album, featuring instrumental and dancemixes from Dare, as well as 'Hard Times'), has beenincluded as bonus material. Caroline. 2003. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Purchased this for ONE track, and I'm satisfied
When I was a wee lad, New Wave was still actually somewhat "new." I used to spend hours listening to KROQ and tape recording songs by holding up a hand held cassette recorder to one speaker of my sister's stereo. Mind you, we're talking about 1980-1983 or so. Devo, Oingo Boingo, Ultravox, Visage, Invisible Zoo, Kraftwerk, etc. were the bands of the day. I listened to those tapes until they wore out. Then suddenly Depeche Mode grew their hair out and started wearing wife beater t-shirts and growing facial hair and new wave went to hell, as far as I was concerned. There went the neighborhood.

Anyway, one of my favorite songs on my tapes was Seconds by the Human League. It was just such a great, anthemic, monolithic riff. Something made me want to hear it again recently, so I hunted it down and found it on this CD. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be anything else on the disk that I like even half as much, but being able to listen to Seconds again is all I wanted.

5-0 out of 5 stars League Fans - Must Have!! All Others, However.......
Dare - everyone who was anyone in the 80's has a copy of this on vinyl or cassette. But the League Unlimited Orchestra's Love and Dancing is a whole nother story. Club DJ's mixed the hell out of this with "Don't You Want Me", but the rest of the album is a must have as well. Human League fans will all agree; this one you just gotta have. Casual fans may want to just get Dare, or better yet, just get their Greatest Hits. I'm a huge Human League fan, so I'm biased and think everyone should love these dub versions, but not everyone loves every song by the League (hell, even I don't like every song - what WAS "Crash" all about?) so this may be more of one album then you'll want.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!
this is probably one of the best human league... no, just albums ever made. phil oakey for prime minister!

5-0 out of 5 stars Two Great Human League Albums On One Cd!
Caroline Records has released several classic Human League albums on one cd, completely remastered for improved sound quality. "Dare", in my opinion is the "classic" Human League album, full of excellent synthesized pop songs. The song "Don't You want Me" needs no introduction as this was the major hit off the album. MTV also played the video on regular rotation as well. While there were several other hits from the album, such as "Open Your Heart" and "The Sound Of The Crowd", nothing matched the melodic "Don't You Want Me" in terms of mass appeal. Combine Philip Oakey's deep male vocals with Joanne Catherall and Susanne Sulley's female vocals and you have one of the "new romantic era's" best bands. The album "Love And Dancing" are the full 12" instrumental or dub versions of the songs on "Dare". This album was a must for disc jockeys who wanted to be creative and mixed the vocal versions with the instrumentals. Caroline Records wisely has re-issued and remastered a good portion of the Human League catalog for those who enjoyed their unique sound. Highly recommended!

4-0 out of 5 stars Feel the pain of the push and shove.
There's probably little point writing anything at all about Dare as I expect if you're reading this you are fully aware of what a joy it is, you probably bought it in the early 80's beguiled by the fab pop tracks and the vogue minimalist fashion cover. Heck, you might have even had a Phil Oakey hair-do! :)

Where I do want to spend some time though is on the fab bonus material on this disc. A large part of the Dare-era Human League credit must be given to the producer Martin Rushent who helped shape their sound into that unique, crisp electronica that was, and still is, unlike anything else. The remix album "Love & Dancing" seemingly gave Rushent carte blanche to take the tracks into dub and remix heaven, and it's a trip worth taking.

The 12" single boomed in the 80's and The Human League were one of the bands that actually made 12" records that were worth listening to. I love the weird things he does with the vocals in "The Sound of the Crowd", "Open Your Heart" travels in and out of echo and dub in unexpected ways, "Love Action" sounds like it's been put through a salad spinner and "Hard Times" is just plain awesome.

This is the perfect teaming of a hit album and the crazy reworking of it. The things that dreams are made of. ... Read more

137. Look of Love: The Very Best of ABC
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00005N8BG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 23801
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

UK compilation features nine of the eleven tracks on theclosest domestic equivalent (the U.S. features 'VanityKills' (The Abigails Party Mix) (the standard versionappears here & ' Theme From Mantrap ') but adds seven additional tracks, 'Night You Murdered Love', 'Peace &Tranquility', 'One Better World' (Edit), 'King Without ACrown', 'Ocean Blue', 'Real Thing' & 'Blame'. 17 tracks inall. 2001. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Group - Poor Remaster
From 1981, ABC were one of the biggest selling groups of the decade in their native UK, and flooded the charts with slik, bubbly, snappy 80's pop. Their hits included "Tears are not enough" (1981), "Poison arrow", "Look of love" (1982), "All of my heart", "That was then but this is now" (1983", "How to be a zillionaire" (1984), "Vanity kills" (1985), "When smokey sings", "The night you murdered love" (1987), and "King without a crown" (1988).

If you love this group, DON'T GET THIS ALBUM. I received it for a promo, but upon playing the disc, thought I was playing a worn out cassette tape, from my car's glove-box. It sound hissy, hollow, and for some odd reason, all the high ends have been killed through a tainted remastering job. I don't know what they've done, but as weird as it is, this CD sounds the same as a cheap audio cassette.

Instead, see if you can pick up their albums second hand. They were originally re-issued by Mercury in the early 1990's.

4-0 out of 5 stars one of the best
for the person who was the manager for abc - lucky! whoever out there buy this cd - it will make you smile, with a twist.

these guys are one of the best pop bands in history hands down, along with the jam / style council. i grew up listening to them, and martin fyre is one of the hottest men to, ever be in music. the lyrics are thoughtful, intentional, sexy and i remember how much they effected the alternative worlds. i'm a photographer of bands now, in chicago/seattle/ny/sf - people like elliott smith, white stripes, yeah yeah yeahs and such - and also exhibitioning my own conceptual art. in these lands we all got our creative inspiration not only from rock-n-roll, but bands like this. cuz, back then rock was passe. thre was punk and also this. abc was so contemporary and its still completely amazingly written music mocking our societies foibles, revelling in its beauty and letting us dance to it which often uses intelligence, more than is applied to todays pop. how i would love to photograph them today in london or ny or where ever they are....see , and again whoever out there buy this cd - it will make you smile, with a twist.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vanity Kills.
Mixing skilled production with sharp lyrics, ABC was one of the more interesting groups of the 1980s. "The Look of Love" features hits starting with the 1982 classic "The Lexicon of Love" right up to 1989's "Up" (strangely enough, this album excludes material from the excellent "Abracadabra" and "Skyscraping"). Of course, their biggest hits were "The Look of Love" and "Poison Arrow," but my personal favorites are the Chic-inspired "The Night You Murdered Love," "King Without a Crown," "Vanity Kills," and the housed-up "One Better World." These songs may not have been huge hits in America, but they're just as good. In addition, we get two previously unreleased tracks: "Peace and Tranquility" and the killer ballad "Blame." This album is certainly an improvement over their previous compilation "Absolutely ABC," which had a rather awful and pointless remix of "The Look of Love." But here, we get all the original singles, digitally remastered with care. If you want to hear a fine example of pop music from the 1980s, then you can't go wrong with this impressive CD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Bowlerpimp is cool
Just want to defend you Bowlerpimp. You can't help it if youre cooler than the discoheads who like Martin Fry's ABC. If you still want a Best of CD by the real ABC, or rather the original ABC, then I'm your man. I was their manager back in the day. I would love to get one of the guys to email you since they love to reminisce about the old days with thier fans, but they are still only 4 yrs old having used some really extreme age reversal cream on thier face. They cant even reach the PC to turn it on. Ha Ha,little dorks. I told them to ignore Spam messages promising things that are plainly unscientific at that price.

2-0 out of 5 stars LOL
LOL, you have the group confused with someone else. ABC was never a boy band, silly. The music on this CD is their greatest hits compilation and it is very much a reflection of what they did while they were together. The guy on the cover is the singer and no one tried to pull anything on you, you simply ordered a CD by the wrong band. LOL ... Read more

138. From Time to Time: The Singles Collection
list price: $11.98
our price: $11.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00000286F
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 43363
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Paul Young was the nexus at which British blue-eyed soul met '80s synth pop production. The result was a string of glorious hits, including the chart-topper, "Every Time You Go Away." Young was most convincing as a covers artist. His supple tenor, aided by smart, up-to-date arrangements, revived such worthy tracks as the Chi-Lites' "Oh Girl" and Marvin Gaye's "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)." From Time to Time contains a good cross-section of Young's work, plus several new tracks, including a version of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" performed with Clannad and the international smash "Senza Una Donna," featuring Italian superstar Zucchero.--Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good retrospective of soul songs interpreter
Apart from his cover of "Everytime You Go Away," and songs like "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down" and "Some People," I didn't know much of Paul Young. However, upon further research and examining this album, noticed that his mainstay was as an interpreter (read: doing cover versions) of other songs. It's a wonder he made as much as he did given his vocal problems over the years.

The single that broke Young in the US was his cover of Hall and Oates' "Everytime You Go Away." There doesn't seem to be much variation between his version and the original, but given the fact that both are different variants of white soul, not surprising. One of his best, coming as it did from his UK #1 album The Secret Of Association.

"Come Back And Stay" is an upbeat original song from No Parlez, having a more pop sound that would make George Michael popular during his solo years, given the synths.

The Isely Brothers-type soul of "I'm Only Foolin' Myself" is one of the three new songs here. Paul Carrack of Squeeze and Mike+the Mechanics does Hammond organ here. The horn section adds to the 70's-type soul.

Young gets the funk up with "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down" which features slashing synth sounds. In contrast, there's the strings and keyboards of the sad "Broken Man", where Young's soaring vocals tells of a broken man who almost died of a broken heart.

"Everything Must Change" is another ballad from Secret Of Association, with heavily produced synths.

"Senza Una Donna," Italian for "Without A Woman" is a ballad duet with Italian rocker Zucchero, who has a gritty Joe Cocker/Michael Bolton type voice, which contrasts Young's smooth soulful vocals. The benefits of the title? "No more pain and no sorrow/Senza Una Donna/I'll make it through tomorrow."

I was most surprised when he did Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over", which he originally recorded at the Free Nelson Mandela concert, and the lines "there is freedom within, there is freedom without" and "hey, you know, they won't win" take on a new meaning. He is joined by Paul Carrack on vocals.

"Love Of The Common People" is an early cover of a Nicky Thomas tune that has a slight reggaeish influence. Also from his hit No Parlez album.

His rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)," was his first big hit in the UK following two flops after his departure from Q-Tips. As a result, his first album No Parlez was a UK #1 and stayed in the charts for two years.
From the Switch soundtrack comes a heartfelt and tear-inducing cover of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now", a duet with Clannad's Maire (pron. Moya) Brennan.

The Hugh Padgam-produced "Some People" sports a horn section and pop beat comparable to Glass Tiger, and it's a bit of a departure from his early soul sound. It's clear why this tanked on the Billboard singles chart.

He also does decent covers of the Chi-Lites' "Oh Girl" and Congretation's "Softly Saying I Love You", taken from his Other Voices album.

A great collection, but it would've been nice to have his cover of the Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Then again, this collection is already skewed in favour of No Parlez, so... What's clear is that Young's heyday was in the early 80's, comprising the hits from No Parlez and The Secret Of Association.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a bargain !
Before I had become acquainted with, I found this album in a London music stores for £2:99, instead of the usual inflated price of about .... If I didn't like all of the tracks, it's would not have been too much of a risk.

However, there is not a single duff track on this album - so an hour of good soulful singing from a guy who really should be having hit records still! The songs are all well known and very easy to sing along to, but perhaps we should let the master do the singing.

He has always chosen songs well and this album is just one of the best collection of songs you could possibly find. The musicianship is excellent and the reditions of others' material are truly superb.

Another plus point is that he lives about a mile away and we have had bumped into each other in the shops (well, he's a regular guy), so I am biased.

If anyone wants to know what he's doing when he's not shopping, I guess he does the 80's tours amongst which are popular these days. He still sounds and looks good.

4-0 out of 5 stars Eighties Music Requirement
I don't know what the fanbase of Paul Young is these days, but I doubt anyone who lived through the eighties (or early nineties, for that matter) didn't hear the song "Every Time You Go Away" enough times to know the lyrics subconsciously.

The haunting melodies and smooth vocals that made Paul Young the revolutionary that he was are all gathered into this soulful collection of his greatest hits- topped off with that (perhaps somewhat pesky) aforementioned timeless #1 hit. All his songs have a quality of simple, refreshing pleasure. One listen is simply never enough to satisfy the taste of the album. You need listen after listen... and before long, I think you'll find this one in -*gasp!*- your car! Yes.. it's that addictive. From the rich sounds of drums and electricly-amped guitars right up to the soft, seamless vocals, any 80s music fan will find this a necessary addition to their collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Soulful
Paul Young has a soulful, haunting voice and this is a beautiful collection of his work. The CD includes a combination of songs from his "Secret of Association" and "No Parlez" albums which most people are familiar with from the mid-80's ("Everytime You Go Away," "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down"), and some previously unrecorded songs such as Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" featuring vocals from Paul Carrack (from Mike and the Mechanics, Squeeze and various solo albums). The duo collabarated on the song at the Free Nelson Mandela concert and it is truly inspiring. Additionally, "Everything Must Change," "Broken Man" and Marvin Gaye's "Wherever I Lay My Hat" are soulful, heart-felt songs that shouldn't be forgotten. The only thing that could be changed to make this album better would be dubbing out the original 80's-sounding female background singers that appear on a few of the songs---then every song would be timeless. On the other hand, they give the songs a retro feel and are a reminder of younger days! This album gets an A+ without question!

1-0 out of 5 stars OTHER people's hits maybe
Probably the scariest thing to come out of the 80's. Without heavy backup singers, his voice is almost unaudible. Taking classic songs like "Oh Girl", "Everytime You Go Away", and "Don't Dream It's Over" and making them into Dentist office music more painful than the Dentist himself is a crime. ... Read more

139. Arena
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001QNNYI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12705
Average Customer Review: 2.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not very good
I'm not too impressed with this CD, probably because the songs don't sound as good live with the exception of Careless Memories. Excellent, so much better than the studio recorded one. Wild Boys is exactly the same on here as it is on any other CD. The Seventh Stranger is a great song but I've only heard it on here, live. I don't know anything about the remastered version (I don't know what version I have) so I can't comment.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad
I actually love Arena, certainly better than the 1990's Duran. I don't listen to any Duran past '95 with the exception of the Duran song 'Out of my Mind'. I like the versions Save a Prayer and The 7th Stranger live here.

2-0 out of 5 stars Cheap
Duran,Duran had some cuts back in the day&they were more of a singles Act but they had there moments.but as this album points out&shows there material was better suited to the studio.this new version doesn't make the album any better than it was&also comes off cheap&contrived trying to Manipulate the 20nth year of this set.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better for the bonus tracks, but still a disappointment
Arena was a major disappointment in its original incarnation. Duran Duran, one of the world's biggest bands in 1984, had just completed a major world tour, and their fans deserved a proper live album as a representation of the concerts on that tour. Instead, they got Arena, which was mixed and edited much more like a studio album. With a distant audience sound, a recording that sounded more processed than live, and smoothed down fades and edits between songs, Arena actually lent credence to the lie that Duran Duran was nothing more than a studio band. Matters were not helped any by the fact that one of the best tracks on the original release was the studio single, "The Wild Boys." Although it is a terrific song, its inclusion on a live album was, and remains, totally out of place. Subtract "The Wild Boys," and you were left with precisely nine live songs totaling under forty-five minutes in length: hardly a definitive example of what a Duran Duran concert was like in person.

This remastered version does little to improve the situation. Although the remastering adds greater clarity, texture and immediacy to the existing sound, the lackluster mix and slick edits are the same, as are the original song selection and order. If anything, the improved sound somehow makes the whole album sound even more sterile, since it clarifies just how much effort was put into making this album as "un-live" as possible.

What makes this new disc worth having are the two bonus tracks, totally thrilling live versions of "Girls On Film" and "Rio." These two cuts possess what most of the rest of the album lacks: vigor, vitality, and a genuine interplay between band and audience. Along with "Careless Memories," they indicate just how good Arena could have been if it had been better conceived and executed. Tacked on to the end of the disc, however, these two tracks are true bonuses, doing nothing to improve the main body of the album.

Perhaps someday EMI/Capitol will see fit to release a totally new live album documenting Duran Duran's 1984 tour, one that does justice to what the band was actually doing on stage at that time. Arena, simply put, does not. It remains a must-have for die-hard fans only. Everyone else should look elsewhere for their Duran fix.

3-0 out of 5 stars 2 BONUS TRACKS- but that's it.
Wow- 20 years later & I've just bought Arena for the 4th time. First on record album, then cassette, then CD, and now on CD again. This has never been my favorite Duran Duran album, but is a nice souvenir from their heyday- a flashback to the fall of 1984, when "Wild Boys" was a #2 chart single and Duran Duran ruled the airwaves at MTV. This remastered version follows on the heels of 2 recent DVD releases from the same time period and is essentially the soundtrack to both.

Even as a 12-year-old "Duranie" in 1984, I never thought the sound quality on Arena was quite right. Simon's vocals sounded way too upfront & abrasive. The band sounded cluttered & heavy-handed. I was hoping that remastering might help solve these problems, but no such luck. It sounds exactly the same as it always has. The only difference is the volume level of the CD is substantially higher.

As for the packaging, it comes in a standard jewel case only (so far)& I have not heard plans for a hardback gatefold version, like the first 3 albums have appeared in. The booklet is almost identical to the old CD issue. It offers NO additional artwork or photos, no liner notes, and no lyrics. The only extras you get here are 2 bonus tracks, "Girls On Film" and "Rio," both live. The inclusion of these 2 classics is long overdue, however, and should make this purchase worthwhile for any Duran Duran collector. I just wish EMI/Capitol Records would put a little more effort into these re-releases & give fans a little more bang for our buck. ... Read more

140. Anthology
list price: $29.98
our price: $26.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002MYXZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4260
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have for Mystic Knight or Churlish Tender Lumpling!
This is a CD that should be in any collection that enjoys music for the pure need for music. No sickening sweet POP Tart garbage here. No try to sneak this into a VW commercial! NO! Its the guys at their balls to the walls best. From the old to the last (and yes its for the best I don't want Avila's Medialert goin off and spoiling Nasty Habits... do YOU!) This is Oingo as we remember them. Boingo as they dismember them! The two together driving those pitiful record store lackeys insane to wonder what bin to stick it in. (When we all know where they should stick it..... where it belongs!) Get this album now before this place assigns it to the boneyard with all the other underrated bands of rock!

4-0 out of 5 stars Also Consider THE CRAZY 8's!
I'm a big fan of Oingo Boingo, and I really like this album. However, I just realized that another favorite band, The CRAZY 8'S (now defunct) would be popular with Boingers. If you like OINGO BOINGO and FISHBONE, you'll LOVE The Crazy 8's! (...especially "Big Live Nut Pack!")

5-0 out of 5 stars The MEAT
Just looking over the contents, this CD has all of the many hits that Oingo Boingo released. If you are interested in Oingo Boingo because of that ONE song you love, I compel you to make this purchase and sample the highlights of their musical career. Im sure you will find MANY more favorites. If you would like potatoes with your meat then ONLY A LAD is definitely the starting point. Don't forget to look over the desert menu, you never know what delights you may find.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best CD collection ever
I have never heard anyhting more frantic, emotional, and just plain out wonderful. I have been a Boingo fan since the mid 80's and they have been my favorite band for twelve years. When they play We Close Or Eyes Live from the farewell Haloween concert it brings me back to that Haloween night and it is just wonderful. I couldn't recomend anyhting else before this anthology.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great CD, Defective cover though
I adore this collection of songs. It introduced me to stuff I had never heard before and made me want to get more into Oingo Boingo. I was quite unhappy when I couldn't play all the songs after awhile. I learned on-line that the case it comes in is faulty, it comes unglued and the glue eventually gets on the CD making it unplayable, after my cd's started skipping in the last 2 or 3 songs. Thankfully the store I bought it at exchanged it without too much hassle and I immediately bought a new case for the cd's to prevent it from happening again. ... Read more

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