Various Artists

Indie Top 20, Vol. 3

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Each volume in Beechwood's Melody Maker-sponsored Indie Top 20 series acts as a fairly adequate time capsule of U.K. indie music. Initiated in 1987 and put to rest in 1996, the 23 volumes act as a more-discerning English equivalent of the monthly Certain Damage samplers that came with CMJ (College Music Journal) in the U.S. And since the U.K. definition of "indie" has a wider scope, this series has much more stylistic variety. The third volume, released in February of 1988, benefits from including several groups that did not make appearances on the first two discs. Highlights include Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again," the Sugarcubes' "Birthday," the Happy Mondays' "24 Hour Party People," Throwing Muses' "Cry Baby Cry," My Bloody Valentine's "Strawberry Wine," and the Peel Session version of New Order's "Truth." This is one of the best discs in the series.