Billboard Top Hits: 1980-1984

Various Artists

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Billboard Top Hits: 1980-1984 Review

by Stephen Cook

Rhino does it again with this five-disc set chronicling the top hits from the first half of the '80s (each disc was originally released separately). And what a strange time it was: while disco gasped for air and new wave was on the rise, the new face of pop made its bloated and steely debut. Hear how veterans like Diana Ross ("Upside Down") and Tina Turner ("What's Love Got to Do With It") fit into the '80s frosty soundscape; witness the new romantic hegemony of the Thompson Twins, Spandau Ballet, and Culture Club; secretly hum along to forbidden pleasures by Journey and Hall & Oates. But wait, there's still close to 40 songs to go, luckily including sides by Blondie and KC & the Sunshine Band. And who hasn't wanted to drastically change the mood at a party by blasting Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" or Michael Sembello's "Maniac"? Get ready for the spandex.

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