New wave was the sound preferred by many young music listeners in 1983, and the year's edition of Rebound's Class Reunion series includes several nods to that genre's impact on radio at the time. With the inclusion of Dexy's Midnight Runners' blue-eyed soul-styled "Come on Eileen" and Big Country's "In a Big Country" (and its distinctive bagpipe-sounding guitars), this set has two of the more identifiable and distinctive hits of the period. Bananarama's breezy "Cruel Summer" helped the hugely popular U.K. trio notch its first American hit and longtime mainstream rockers Styx incorporated the day's synthesized feel (not to mention global economics and politics) into "Mr. Roboto." ABBA's Frida scored a solo hit with the atypical-sounding "I Know There's Something Going On," courtesy of producer Phil Collins' cavernous drumming, while Rita Coolidge offered the latest theme song from the James Bond film series to become a hit, although her "All Time High" hardly matched the success of songs from earlier entries. Kool & the Gang continued to shift from the heavier funk sound of their '70s material, scoring with the pop-sensible "Joanna," and one-time Stevie Wonder player Michael Sembello topped the charts with the frantic "Maniac" from the surprise box office (and soundtrack) smash Flashdance.
AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon