Various Artists

All the 80's

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All the 80's is a three-CD box set assembled by the Strategic Marketing division of the Australian branch of major label Warner, consisting of 45 tracks performed by 43 different American, Australian, and British recording artists. The selection and sequencing are random; the only determining factor in choosing the songs seems to have been that the tracks were in the Warner vault, having been released originally by a Warner-controlled imprint such as Asylum, Atco, Atlantic, Elektra, Sire, Slash, Swan Song, or Warner Bros.. (There are a few tracks that were released on non-Warner labels in the U.S., but presumably Warner had them for Australia.) One assumes that most or all of them were Australian hit singles, though that doesn't mean they were also American hits. Of the 45 tracks, 33 reached the Billboard Hot 100; 25 of those made the Top 40; 19 got into the Top Ten; and five hit number one. So, for the American listener, the collection will be a combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar, as big hits by internationally known acts such as the Beach Boys, the Cars, and Yes are mixed in with recordings by acts that had no presence at all in the U.S. charts (Richard Clapton, Major Matchbox, the Radiators -- the last not the American band from New Orleans) or very little (Cold Chisel, Goanna, 1927), plus well-known artists performing songs that, in the U.S., were not chart singles (Divinyls, Dave Edmunds, Leo Sayer). There's some good 1980s pop music in a variety of styles to be heard on the disc, but it is all jumbled up with material that, especially for Americans, is quite obscure.

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