Various Artists

High School Reunion: A Tribute to Those Great 80's Films!

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With an idea so choice it's surprising no one else had thought of it sooner, High School Reunion: A Tribute to Those Great 80s Films! is one of the finest tribute records ever amassed. Paying homage to the music that characterized beloved films from the Reagan administration, national artists like Matthew Sweet and Frank Black do the impossible by rivaling the goodness of original versions of Tom Petty's "American Girl" and Iggy Pop's "Repo Man." Elsewhere, Kristin Hersh does an intriguing read on Black's own Pixies staple "Wave of Mutilation," although the Dresden Dolls' chaotic rendering of "Pretty in Pink" has trouble measuring up. Diamonds in the rough, from regional New England outfits like the Commons (covering the Cars' "Moving in Stereo") and Bastards of Melody (serving up a tender take on the Replacements' "Within Your Reach") also stand out among the 20 tracks compiled here. Let this serve as a blueprint for all future tribute sets. Nicely done.

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