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 fifth volume (subtitled Since Yesterday, after the Strawberry Switchblade song here) features songs by a few of the series' favorites -- Blancmange ("Don't Tell Me"), the Jam ("Eton Rifles"), the Smiths ("William, It Was Really Nothing"), Echo & the Bunnymen ("A Promise"), Big Country ("In a Big Country"), and Visage ("Night Train"). Other Flashback Lunchbox/Cafe staples like Culture Club's "Church of the Poison Mind," A Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran," and Heaven 17's "Temptation" duke it out with selections from the Skids ("Charade"), Department S ("Is Vic There?"), the Icicle Works ("Love Is a Wonderful Color"), and Lloyd Cole and the Commotions ("Perfect Skin").
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman