Various Artists

20th Century Masters - DVD Collection: Alternative 80's

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First things first. While there are various styles to which the '80s acts the Buggles, Soft Cell, the Fixx, ABC, and Tears for Fears might be assigned -- '80s Brit-pop, synth-pop, dance-pop -- "alternative" is not one of them. Nobody called these bands alternative in the '80s, and afterwards, when "alternative" became a catchall, they had all passed from the scene. That said, this very brief DVD, with only five tracks and a running time under 18 minutes, gives a good sense of what one frequently saw on MTV in the early '80s, starting with "Video Killed the Radio Star," famously the first video the cable channel ever aired. While some of the visual effects seem a bit cheap and primitive by later standards, it's not clear that video directors have become any more imaginative than they were at first, and the music remains danceable, catchy, and, well, a bit ominous. Note that the running order as listed on the DVD cover is incorrect, as Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" is the final video, not the third one.

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