Lene Lovich

Lucky Number: The Best of Lene Lovich

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This 22-track anthology draws wholly from Lovich's recordings from the Stiff label in the late '70s and early '80s (which in turn represented most of her recorded output), including tracks from all three of her albums and a few stray non-LP cuts. There's more Lene Lovich on Stiff, and everything else she did for the company has been reissued if you want it, but if you do only want one disc, this is a reasonable choice. It has all half-dozen of her high-charting and low-charting U.K. singles, and while the exact songs chosen to fill out the disc could be argued depending upon individual tastes, it's indisputably good value for money, with 77 minutes of music. Although there's a gap in quality between the best and most well-remembered material (like "Lucky Number," "Say When," "I Think We're Alone Now," "Home," and "Too Tender (To Touch)," all of which are here), the inclusion of less characteristic items like the gypsy-flavored B-side "One Lonely Heart" and the overlooked 1982 B-side "Blue" (with more of a straightforward guitar thrust than most of her work) reveal her to have more range than some critics have acknowledged. The annotation is on the slender side (though at least there is annotation), but it's an enjoyable and fairly well-programmed survey of one of the British new wave's quirkier talents.

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