Various Artists

Generations 80's: Classics from the 80's Alternative Scene

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AllMusic Review by Simon Cantlon

Billed as "Classics From the 80's Alternative Scene," this compilation more than lives up to its description, mixing well-known hits with lesser-known but equally stunning cuts. Things begin on a unique note with the stark, completely a cappella "It's a Fine Day" by the amazingly voiced Jane (the song later became U.K. number five hit in the '90s for Opus III). The mix is refreshing throughout with well-known but always compelling classics "Rock Lobster," "Relax," "Birthday," and "Atomic" alongside hidden gems such as XTC's "Sgt. Rock" (a pub-rockin' rhythm maker), Everything But the Girl's "Night and Day" (a lo-fi cover of the classic that retains it's charm), and the Teardrop Explodes' "Reward" (with Julian Cope's vibrant vocals surrounded by punctuating horns and a non-stop beat). New Order represents with "Everything Gone Green" (and thankfully not with the overexposed "Blue Monday" or "True Faith"), as perfect pop purveyors Aztec Camera, Prefab Sprout, and Scritti Politti contribute their contagious charm. Though the last track, "Nag Nag Nag" by Cabaret Voltaire, should be avoided, Generation 80's is a pure delight!

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