Various Artists

A Kick Up the Eighties, Vol. 9: Steppin' Out

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The U.K.-based Old Gold label's A Kick Up the Eighties series offers a wide range of '80s pop spread across ten volumes. Generally speaking, the series tends to favor the first half of the decade over the latter, and none of the discs follows a particular theme like many of these deals tend to. Rather, each installment adheres to a certain randomness without making huge stylistic leaps. If you simply must have that one song that you can't find anywhere else, odds are good there will be more than just the one song for you to enjoy. And if you're simply an obsessive collector of '80s compilations, this series works as a decent U.K. counterpart to Rhino's Just Can't Get Enough series, as there isn't a great deal of overlap between the two. The ninth volume of the series is subtitled after Joe Jackson's song of the same name and otherwise features U.K. chart fodder from the mid- to late '80s. Late-period new wave fallout from Animotion ("Obsession"), Altered Images offshoot Hipsway ("The Honeythief"), A Flock of Seagulls ("The More You Live, the More You Love"), and Nick Heyward ("Whistle Down the Wind"), along with the goth likes of Spear of Destiny ("Never Take Me Alive"), mingle with bands that relied more heavily on the use of guitars, like the Primitives ("Crash"), the Stone Roses ("She Bangs the Drum"), Echo & the Bunnymen ("Never Stop"), and the Screaming Blue Messiahs ("I Wanna Be a Flintstone").

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