The U.K.-based Old Gold label's A Kick Up the Eighties series offers a wide range of '80s pop spread across ten volumes. Generally speaking, the series tends to favor the first half of the decade over the latter, and none of the discs follows a particular theme like many of these deals tend to. Rather, each installment adheres to a certain randomness without making huge stylistic leaps. If you simply must have that one song that you can't find anywhere else, odds are good there will be more than just the one song for you to enjoy. And if you're simply an obsessive collector of '80s compilations, this series works as a decent U.K. counterpart to Rhino's Just Can't Get Enough series, as there isn't a great deal of overlap between the two. The tenth and final volume of the series, subtitled Perfect after the number one Fairground Attraction hit featured here, closes the curtain in decent fashion with the Bangles' Prince-written "Manic Monday," the Pogues' "Fiesta," the Associates' "Those First Impressions," the Sugarcubes' "Regina," Transvision Vamp's "Baby I Don't Care," Wang Chung's "Dance Hall Days," the Cult's "Resurrection Joe," and -- something of a wild card here that doesn't quite fit -- Taylor Dayne's "Tell It to My Heart." As with any other multi-installment series like this one, it's bound to be a hit-or-miss affair for just about anyone. However, just about the entirety of the A Kick Up the Eighties series offers enough enjoyment to go around to make it worthwhile, even if it isn't exactly definitive.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman