Various Artists

Monster Hits: 86, 87, 88

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This discount-priced three-disc set packages together ten track compilations devoted to the pop music of the years 1986, 1987, and 1988, at least as interpreted by some of the middle-level and minor acts on the rosters of the labels that were part of what was then called CBS records and is now known as Sony Music Entertainment. The venerable company was riding high in those days, with Michael Jackson on its Epic label and Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel on Columbia, but you won't find any of those names here; major stars usually get a say in how their tracks get used on compilations, and they tend to shy away from budget items like this one. Instead, you get to hear tracks by the likes of the Bangles, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Loverboy, Eddie Money, Electric Light Orchestra, Luther Vandross, Cyndi Lauper, REO Speedwagon, and New Kids on the Block, all of whom rank somewhere among the top 500 singles artists of the rock era according to chart researcher Joel Whitburn, though none are in the top 100. And you get the number one hits "Walk Like an Egyptian," "Shake You Down," "Lost in Emotion," "Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird (Medley)," and "Wishing Well," along with a lot of Top Tens and plenty of down-chart items. It doesn't really add up to a coherent or comprehensive look at the popular music of the late '80s, coming off more as a miscellany. But as long as there are a few of your old favorites among the dross, there is enough to justify a purchase at the low asking price. (The package was selling for as little as $15 in convenience stores upon release.)

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:22
2 3:24
3 4:46
4 5:00
5 3:38
6 3:32
7 3:30
8 4:22
9 3:25
10 4:49
11 4:01
12 3:57
13 4:32
14 4:06
15 5:08
16 5:19
17 3:57
18 5:11
19 3:13
20 3:02
21 4:09
22 4:01
23 6:16
24 3:32
25 5:30
26 4:26
27 5:06
28 4:27
29 4:05
30 4:28
blue highlight denotes track pick