Various Artists

Just Say Da: Volume IV of Just Say Yes

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Warner Brothers' late-'80s, alternative-heavy series of label compilations (kind of like a post-punk version of their '70s Loss Leaders series) are an uneven lot, as is usually the case with this type of collection. However, the fourth volume, from 1990, is probably the strongest set (with the exception of the classic new wave compilation Just Say New Wave), with a number of great songs, many of them in rare alternate mixes like the hypnotic, Eastern European-tinged "Wish Me Luck (Karamazov Mix)" by Ofra Haza. Other tracks include non-LP bonus cuts like John Wesley Harding's witty talking blues "When the Beatles Hit America," as well as then-current singles and album tracks like Primal Scream's breakthrough hit "Loaded"; Danielle Dax's "The Id Parade"; Morrissey's "November Spawned a Monster"; and My Bloody Valentine's brilliantly gauzy "Soon," from their imminent classic Loveless. There's a couple of duds, like Bradford's dead boring "Gang of One" and a listless, overlong live version of Ministry's "Breathe." Overall, however, Just Say Da is a handy time capsule of alternative rock at the turn of the '90s.

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