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. Vol. 7, subtitled Young at Heart, features songs from mid- to late-'80s stalwarts That Petrol Emotion ("Big Decision"), the Mighty Lemon Drops ("The Other Side of You"), the Bluebells ("Young at Heart"), the Style Council ("Walls Come Tumbling Down!"), and Fine Young Cannibals ("Johnny Come Home"). From earlier in the decade, the compilation includes the Teardrop Explodes ("Treason"), the Jam ("Funeral Pyre"), Bauhaus (their cover of David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust"), and the Ruts ("Staring at the Rude Boys"). Although none of these songs is ideally representative of the decade, this volume does a good (if inadvertent) job of showing the changes U.K. pop went through during the time, from remnants of the punk scene to psychedelic pop to sophisti-pop to jangle pop.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman