Living In Oblivion/The 80’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2

Disc 2:

Mickey [Toni Basil]—-Yet another example of the power of MTV in the 80’s, this song was built on a great video and constant radio play by dance instructor Toni Basil. A fun and catchy chorus makes the song irresistible…the chorus guarantees that the song will live on forever.

Get It On [Bang A Gong] [The Power Station]—-Featuring suave frontman Robert Palmer on vocals and comprised of members of 80’s Kings Duran Duran. This song and a few other ensuing singles cemented this ;supergroup’ a place in 80’s history. The beat of the song is masculine and guitar based…rare for this time period. Very Nice!

Lay Your Hands On Me [Thompson Twins]—-Neither Thompson’s nor twins, this three piece hit our shores big with numerous top ten singles in a five year period. This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite tracks from this magnificent synth based band. With a nice laid back delivery, the vocal is relaxed yet manages to be full of emotion. When all three voices join together it is magnificent. Fantastic!!!

Let Me Go [Heaven 17]—-Synth pop at it’s very best, this band was much larger in popularity on the other side of the ocean than here in the states. The voice is almost mechanical in nature and very reminiscent of Phillip Oakey of The Human League. The song is driven by a nice machine generated beat that only touched the surface of machine made music. Definitely laid the ground work for future Electronic masters.

Love Plus One [Haircut One Hundred]—-Poster children for pretty video boys, this band built a following on the videos for their releases. The life of the band only lasted one release, but spawned the solo career of Nick Heyward. The song is nice fusion of 80’s synth and tribal almost island music. Fresh and breezy, the song still sounds really great in 2009.

Heart And Soul [T’Pau]—-Another epitome of the one hit wonder, this husband and wife team hit it big with this single that was much more radio friendly that video worthy. Let’s face it, this was not an attractive duo..although the song stands on it’s own as a pretty damn catchy couple of minutes.

Just Got Lucky [Jo Boxers]—-This song, heavily Ska influenced, is so damn catchy and very reminiscent of English labelmates Madness. The track is a nice fun jaunt, with nice tribal drums and mega horns. This is unforgettable and a nice re-visit.

It Ain’t What You Do [Fun Boy Three w/Bananarama]—-How could you find anything negative to say about this track with the combination of these two 80’s greats? The song is yet another tribal sounding dance groove that combines the male and female vocals to a masterful effect. this is really a great combination that never really went anywhere on the charts?

The Jam Was Moving [Debbie Harry]—-Solo jaunt from longtime vocalist of New Wave/Rock band Blondie. This track is rather flat and features none of the big sound that made her band so huge. Harry seemed intent on making her mark with a synth pop jaunt that really falls on it’s face.

Love Missle F-11 [Sigue Sigue Sputnik]—-Built more on image than music, Tony James formerly of Generation X built a band on media hype. Vocally, the song manages to hit the mark…musically, it is hit out of the ball park. I call this cyber-punk and the band had a few years of massive attention before falling off into obscurity. I read that the band is playing shows again….interesting. This is a clear example how success can be built around hype.

88 Lines About 44 Women [The Nails]—-Interesting talk through song that has a really nice synth line. The lyrical content is indeed all about women and their mentioned qualities. Almost a rap, the overly white delivery takes away from any premonition that this is to be taken serious. Really, a waste of tape!

Only The Lonely [The Motels]—-The Motels made a huge splash on the charts with their debut release and follow up…Martha Davis  had a vocal delivery that just rained emotion and pain. The band split because of ‘artistic differences’, but was reunited to a great effect on VH1’s Bands Reunited. Great!!

Living In A Box [Living In A Box]—-A mix between straight up synth and R N B, the vocalist reminds me of Alexander O’Neil. This is a great funk fueled jam that i never heard before this compilation…..a huge 80’s collection and still things to experience. This is really nice with an irresistible beat and groove.

Walking On Sunshine [Katrina And The Waves]—-A song that was huge in the latter 80’s, but got on my nerves to no end. The song still irritates me today…all the horns and the ska influence is a tad to heavy and the chorus is an obnoxious delivery of feel good crap that isn’t real.

Running Up That Hill [Kate Bush]—-To this very day, one of my all time favorite British female vocalists, and still considered a ground breaking artist even now. Her vocal is one that you have to accustomed yourself to, but once done is a thing of pure beauty. The music is a nice British infused 80’s style that only scratched the surface of the brilliant things to come. The emotion and pain in this song is exquisite!

Church Of The Poison Mind [Culture Club]—-One of my favorite tracks from this band…once the group introduced the soulful background vocals of Helen Terry, I was sold. She was able to give the band a fuller and more genuine sound and she gelled really well with the vocal of George. A really great step back in time.

Destination Unknown [Missing Persons]—-Dale Bozzio and Co. made a huge splash with their debut release and then sunk into obscurity. Full of her unique squeaky vocals and a synth/rock infusion, the music on this debut release was catchy and unforgettable. The band managed to give the songs a huge sound with real guitars and layers of keyboards. The song has an irresistible beat and unforgettable chorus. Great!!!

Never Ending Story [Limahl]—-Chart success, albeit brief. for the former lead singer of Kajagoogoo. this song was the title track for the movie of the same name. This song is irresistible!!!  even more synth oriented than anything the former band did, the vocal mends with the backdrop in an incredible way. This is magical and a masterpiece.

Mickey [Spanish Version] [Toni Basil]—-WTF!!!????? Unnecessary!!!

***3/4 out of 5


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