Various Artists

Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's, Vol. 3

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One of the very best volumes in a generally superb series, the third volume of Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's ups the ante in every respect. The crossover hits are bigger, the cult hits better, the novelties weirder and funnier. Best of all, it remembers that new wave wasn't confined to new bands; it also includes semi-veterans remaking themselves with stylish synthesized cuts like "Looking for Clues." That description may make this disc seem wilder than its two predecessors, or perhaps all over the map, but that's not the case because the quality of material is so good. There are no less than five undisputed pop classics here (Gary Numan's "Cars," the B-52's' "Private Idaho," XTC's "Making Plans for Nigel," the Romantics' "What I Like About You," and Squeeze's "Tempted"); then there are songs like Rockpile's "Teacher Teacher," Lene Lovich's "New Toy," Visage's "Fade to Grey," or the Selecter's "Too Much Pressure," which may not have been huge hits, but are certainly illustrations of why new wave was such a great era for singles. Finally, there are two of the great novelties of the '80s -- Gleaming Spires' relentless, repetitive "Are You Ready for the Sex Girls?," which still doesn't make a lick of sense, and the Nails' brilliant "88 Lines About 44 Women," a weirdly poignant, tongue-in-cheek sex diary. All this adds up to one of the best entries in the series, and one of the best new wave collections yet assembled.

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