Rhino's college-radio series Modern Rock 1986: Hang the DJ is inherently flawed, concentrating more on crossover hits than college radio hits. Though Modern Rock 1986: Hang the DJ features selections by the Smiths and Guadalcanal Diary, most of the album is comprised either of Top 40 hits like the Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian," Eurythmics' "Missionary Man," and Bananarama's "Venus," or album rock crossovers like INXS, the Divinyls, the Alarm, and Pretenders. Much of this music is tangentially related to the modern rock of the mid-and-late '80s, yet it doesn't draw an accurate picture of what was happening that particulary year. Furthermore, the album doesn't hold together very well, with the highlights sticking out like sore thumbs among the tamer selections. In all, it's a weak way to begin the series.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine