Various Artists

A Year in Your Life: 1981, Vol. 1

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One Way Records' A Year in Your Life series is a generally excellent budget-line value, collecting ten tracks per volume that were pretty big hits in their time. What's more, the series helpfully tends to concentrate (though not exclusively) on artists who had only a handful of hits at most, making various-artists comps the most appealing way to collect their best work. The first 1981 volume features big hits like Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes," Blondie's "The Tide Is High," Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl," and Sheena Easton's "Morning Train (Nine to Five)," plus some more AOR-oriented tracks. The sound quality isn't too bad, which means that if the majority of these songs aren't already in your collection, this is a decent, affordable way to pick them up.

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