Various Artists

Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's, Vol. 15

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The final volume of Rhino's monumental new wave series, Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's, plays both sides of the fence equally well. There are a lot of big hits that some might say are not new wave -- Katrina & the Waves' "Walkin on Sunshine" and Charlie Sexton's "Beat's So Lonely," for instance -- but once they're placed in this context, they seem irrevocably new wave. Then there are the songs that made it into the Top 40, but still sound very, very new wave -- Animotions' "Obsession," OMD's "So in Love," Arcadia's "Election Day," Belousi Some's "Some People," Tears for Fear's measured "Head Over Heels," Paul Hardcastle's silly Vietnam protest, "19" (what good is it to protest a war 15 years gone?), Scritti Politti's wonderful "Perfect Way," the Dream Academy's proto-dream pop "Life in a Northern Town," and "It's a Mistake," Men at Work's best song, rivaled only by "Overkill." The end result is a document of how new wave subtly changed the rules of Top 40 while producing some great singles -- and, therefore, it's of interest to both historians and casual new wave fans, just like the best volumes of this series (which this edition most certainly is).

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