Various Artists

Gold & Platinum: Hits of the '80s, Vol. 1

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Despite the title, only nine of the 16 tracks on Gold & Platinum: Hits of the '80s, Vol. 1 actually went gold or platinum according to the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA). But all of them reached the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1982 and 1984, and all but one of them (Dan Fogelberg's "The Language of Love") made the Top Ten, so they definitely were hits of the '80s. More significant, the album boasts a much wider scope than most comparable collections, drawing tracks from all five of the major record labels and including music from artists who usually withhold their work from compilations, such as Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson ("Say, Say, Say"), the Police ("Every Breath You Take"), and Billy Joel ("Tell Her About It"). There's even a track from the '80s' biggest selling album, Jackson's Thriller, "Human Nature." The broad cooperation comes about because the album, issued by the Columbia House music club label Realm Records, is a benefit album for the music industry's favored charity, the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research. The album may be another randomly sequenced sampler of big pop hits, but the selection is a cut above the average.

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