As the 1970s turned into the 1980s, the first explosion of punk had run its course, and what we now call "post-punk" or "alternative rock" had yet to really coagulate. In the meantime, there were many bands who took their unconventional attitude from the punk era, but sought a more musically diverse format. Totally Wired is an 18-song compilation of bands that were staples of college radio during the time, although they were virtually ignored (or scorned) by the mainstream. Featured are key cuts by bands like Gang of Four, the Fall, the Raincoats, the Slits, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Magazine, Au Pairs, and Pylon, as well as even more cultish acts like Delta 5, the Mo-Dettes, and Bush Tetras. Those who followed this fragmented scene at the time won't find much here they're not already familiar with or own. But for others it's a pretty useful intro to acts that embodied an era which has yet to generate much historical commentary or preservation.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger