Various Artists

Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's [Series Overview]

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Following their landmark Soul Hits of the '70s by a couple years, Rhino's Just Can't Get Enough is an exhaustive 15-volume overview of new wave, arguably the last great singles era. Though there are hints of post-punk scattered throughout this series (appropriately, those with pop concessions), this pretty much subscribes to the idea that new wave was quirky, invigorating, stylish pop, and follows it from 1979 through the early years of MTV. Some may complain that stars like Elvis Costello and the Clash are absent, but they're not terribly missed, since a series like this gains its greatest strength by collecting hits from singles-oriented artists or one-hit wonders. Like many Rhino compilations of the mid-'90s, this does tend to include maybe three too many novelties, and some of these singles haven't aged well, but for the most part there is an abundance of great songs here. That could mean novelties like Trio's "Da Da Da," but it also means full-fledged pop masterpieces like Spandau Ballet's gorgeous "True," Nick Lowe's "Cruel to Be Kind," Charlie Sexton's coolly stylish "Beat's So Lonely," or Men at Work's "It's a Mistake." Several of the volumes could have used a little tightening in their sequencing, but each disc boasts so many highlights and is so essential for new wave and pop libraries that that little quibble hardly matters.