Arista Singles, Vol. 2

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By the late '70s, rock & roll revivalist Showaddywaddy's entire original audience -- the glam-hungry kids who aligned their retro threads and thunderous beat with an entirely different musical treat altogether -- had long since moved away. But the bandmembers' uncanny ability to wrap the U.K. charts around their little fingers remained undaunted -- and, if anything, only grew stronger as the decade progressed. Even among the glam genre's most sainted survivors, after all, one all-consuming "greatest-hits" collection tends to wrap up everything anyone could want to remember them for. Discounting the wealth of comps that have gone before it, The Arista Singles, Vol. 2 is (as the title suggests) the second collection of Showaddywaddy hits and, while the actual chart-stompers were beginning to wind down, still the group had another three years' worth of smashes inside it. Embracing both the A- and B-sides of every one of Showaddywaddy's post-1979 U.K. singles, Vol. 2 picks up precisely where Vol. 1 left off, with the Top 30 cover of "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" -- a song that the group performs so exquisitely that it's difficult to believe it arrived so late in the day. The same can be said for the follow-up, "Blue Moon," while both "Multiplication" and "Footsteps," the last of the band's hits before it jumped ship to RCA, both pack a timeless charm of their own. Flip over each of the singles, too, and Showaddywaddy's B-sides remain as thrilling as ever, locked forever in a world of soda pops and big-finned cars, poodle skirts and drive-ins. It was, of course, a world that was a million miles away from any that the bandmembers themselves had grown up in. But they restored it to neon-lit life regardless.

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