Various Artists

20th Century Masters - DVD Collection: Ladies of the '80s

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The five "Ladies of the '80s" presented on this DVD sampler are a miscellaneous collection. Frida (aka Anni-Frid Lyngstad) was trying to establish herself in the wake of the breakup of ABBA when she scored her only U.S. hit, "I Know There's Something Going On," in 1982; Corinne Drewery of Swing Out Sister was a fashion designer, a fact accentuated in the video for the group's first hit, 1987's "Breakout"; Vanessa Williams, the disgraced Miss America and Penthouse model first succeeded as a singer with 1989's "Dreamin'"; Tiffany became the teen pop star of the moment in 1987 with her revival of Tommy James & the Shondells' "I Think We're Alone Now"; and Pebbles first ascended the charts in 1988 with Babyface and L.A. Reid's "Girlfriend." The music videos for these hits sometimes show the singers to some extent acting out the import of the lyrics, particularly Frida, who walks through a scenario with a detective and another woman. For the most part, however, it's the look that counts. Williams may be trying to suggest the meaning of "Dreamin'," but what matters is how she looks in a bathing suit, while Pebbles alternates hairdos and outfits during her cautionary tale. Tiffany, captured out on a tour of malls, seems to be having the most fun as she sings to fans and cavorts on an airport luggage ramp. But there is little here, musically or visually, to convince people who missed out on the 1980s that they missed much.

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