1980: 20 Original Chart Hits is a wide-ranging collection that pulls together songs from both the shiny, happy wing and dour, sensitive wing of new wave, blends them with some straight-ahead pop, and throws in a surprise or two while detailing the year in the British charts. The happy new wave sound is ably represented by Dexy's Midnight Runners' effervescent "Geno," Bow Wow Wow's wild "C30, C60, C90, Go!," and the Vapors' "Turning Japanese." The heavy new wave sound is personified by Kate Bush ("Babooshka") with the Motels ("Whose Problem?") and Spandau Ballet ("To Cut a Long Story Short") along for support. Surprises come in the form of the Barracuda's summer surf pop revival classic "Summer Fun" and John Barry's "Theme From Midnight Cowboy" (which is mainly surprising because it was released over ten years previous to 1980). The new wave didn't obliterate the old, and to show that the old soft pop sound was still alive, songs by Sheena Easton ("Morning Train [Nine to Five]"), Dr. Hook ("Sexy Eyes"), and Gerry Rafferty ("Bring It All Home"), among others, are included. Taken together the mix of songs may not be to everyone's liking, as the transition from new wave to old pop can be uncomfortable to listen to, but the collection does a decent job of documenting the year.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra