Wednesday, August 20, 2008

CD Review: Music From the 80's

1) Lips Like Sugar
2) Chains Of Love
3) Need You Tonight
4) Take On Me
Last week, I bought the Airplane! DVD, which came with this short compilation of 80s hits. Paramount and Rhino did a decent job picking 80s songs that are actually listenable. Some tracks are just plain great.
"Lips Like Sugar" is not one of those tracks. If not for Echo & the Bunnymen's credit, you'd think it was U2 on a bad day. This 1987 hit copies U2's 80s style so closely, Bono ought to sue, and for once, I could actually support his cause.
"Chains of Love" sounds a bit like something Prince would have recorded back then. A better comparison would be to George Michael's 80s work, and I would know. Either way, its lyrics are so cheesy, I could understand why better artists than Erasure would have turned it down.
Fortunately, we get a little more original with "Need You Tonight" and its surprising stops. Then, "Take On Me" conjures memories of the animated video and the Reel Big Fish cover, and we overlook the fact that, without all that extra stuff, this is a great love song. That's why a band with a less-dated style can maintain the riffs and arrangement to great effect, much like Sonic Youth's "Superstar".
The 80s weren't the best years for music, but there were a few gems on the charts. A more definitive mix would have aforementioned bigger, more original acts, but I really shouldn't complain. After all, this was free.
**** out of five


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