Various Artists

In Goth Daze [Cherry Red] [2001]

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Few gothic anthologies ever truly hit the spot -- Rhino's A Life less Lived box set is probably the closest. Though this draws only from Cherry Red's own (admittedly voluminous) archive, In Goth Daze does a remarkable job of summarizing the movement's '80s flowering. With Specimen, Alien Sex Fiend and Play Dead all crucially present, Nico to represent the older influences, and Flesh for Lulu depicting the movement's mainstream limits, the 17-song CD offers a remarkably clear snapshot of life before the clich├ęs truly slipped into place. Even better, though, is the accompanying DVD, reminding us why goth's impact was so far-reaching. Bands like Beki Bondage's Ligotage, Dublin's Virgin Prunes and anarcho-punk disciples Rubella Ballet had little musical linkage to the accepted goth norm. But visuals and aesthetic were important as well, and the disc (with 22 tracks) weaves in a lot of unexpected avenues. There are a few false steps here (Marionettes, Malaria, Creaming Jesus). But overall, it's a very well-schemed package. [Originally released on CD in 2001, this 2007 re-release includes a bonus DVD.]

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