Belle Stars

80's Romance: The Complete Belle Stars

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A two-disc completist collection of the 2-Tone-turned-Stiff pop band, 80's Romance: The Complete Belle Stars includes their only full LP (self-titled, from 1983) plus an additional 29 tracks of A-sides, B-sides, 12” mixes, and their three promo videos. The seven-piece easily sounded like other British girl group pop of the ‘80s, although their roots in the ska revival betrayed the energy of their live prowess (let's just say that Bananarama paled in comparison). The MTV hit “Sign of the Times” reached number three in the U.K. in early 1983, followed by their lone LP, but successive singles (“Sweet Memory,” “Indian Summer”) failed to recapture the magic. The early A-sides "Hiawatha" and "Slick Trick" are definitely worth hearing, although this set reaches a level of completism that none but the new wave faithful should expect to need.

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