Various Artists

Best 80s Modern Rock Album

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This installment of EMI's Best...Ever series focuses on the 1980s and what it calls the "modern rock" of that era. And though the company's licensing power ensures a solid set with very few whammies, it's title is a little problematic. After all, "modern rock" as a descriptor only has only been around since sometime in the mid-'90s, when radio stations programming the sounds of the alternative nation needed something to call themselves besides "The X" or just "Alternative." It's rarely if ever associated with stuff like Duran Duran, Devo, Culture Club, Simple Minds, or Psychedelic Furs -- in other words, some of the most iconic new wave and synth-pop bands of their era. Best 80s Modern Rock Album contains the usual hits from these types and more; it also has a few ringers thrown in, like Canuck synth-poppers Strange Advance and Doctor & the Medics' left-field cover of "Spirit in the Sky." For cocktail trivia's sake, the "Dr."'s name was Clive Jackson.

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