Various Artists

Sedated in the Eighties, Vol. 2

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Of all the volumes in the Sedated in the Eighties series, volume two attempts to cast the widest net. On that level it functions as an effective sampler of the decade's new wave and underground groups -- even if, like almost all one-disc compilations that try and distill an entire decade -- it leaves a lot out. But by focusing on some of the decade's core acts -- like Billy Idol, Tears for Fears, the Psychedelic Furs, and even some late-'80s acts like the Stone Roses and the Red Hot Chili Peppers -- the volume has the most appeal to the casual listener. Some of the inclusions are a little odd -- the Ramones' "Planet Earth 88" is used in place of a more familiar hit -- but most of the choices, from the Kinks' "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" to X's "Los Angeles," show just how diverse and even confused '80s alternative had become. Some of the decade's best and most overlooked singles are here, however, making this installment a bargain for anyone looking for a day-glo nostalgia trip.

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