Priority's Chart Toppers series is an excellent budget-line collection, offering a strong selection of 15 original hits, grouped by a specific theme and decade, on each disc. Chart Toppers: Modern Rock Hits of the 80's, vol. 1 concentrates on new wave hits form the early '80s, tossing a few alternative favorites from the latter half of the decade, just for good measure. A few songs don't quite fit into the "Modern Rock" banner, but overall, the selection of songs is terrific, albeit a little predictable. Among the highlights on the disc are Modern English's "I Melt with You," the Plimsouls' "A Million Miles Away," Big Country's "In a Big Country," Icicle Works' "Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)," Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy," Bananarama's "Cruel Summer," ABC's "Poison Arrow," Tears for Fear's "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," Romeo Void's "Never Say Never," World Party's "Ship of Fools" and Michael Penn's "No Myth."
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine