Wire Train

Last Perfect Thing: A Retrospective

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Wire Train's musical style reflected the cross-breeding between post-new wave power-pop and post-disco dance music that characterized the early '80s. The guitars jangled and there were hooks and catchy choruses with harmony vocals, just like the mid-'60s (not to mention covers of Bob Dylan and Buffalo Springfield), but the tempos were unusually quick and the drummer even pushed the beat, while touches of keyboard sometimes shimmered on the edges of the sound picture. More popular bands such as U2 and R.E.M. were doing roughly the same thing at the same time, if with a bit more distinction. But Wire Train frontman Kevin Hunter had an ear for a good melody and an adequate voice to express his pop sentiments, so there's no real answer to the question, why didn't Wire Train make it? This hour-long, 16-track compilation selects the highlights from the group's three Columbia albums (but not its two MCA albums), along with a few rarities. (Amazingly, early copies mistakenly substituted the B-side "Half a Lifetime" for the title song. The problem was to be corrected, but meanwhile an interesting collector's item had been created.)

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