Various Artists

New Waves: 45 Original 45's from the Post Punk Era

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Since it has been roughly 15 years since new wave compilations began to saturate the market, there's really no way a new set with the same focus could be profound. New Waves: 45 Original 45's from the Post Punk Era, a two-disc package from the Universal U.K.-distributed Family Recordings, follows suit, but it does score points for the obvious fact that it wasn't merely slapped together. While it doesn't play fast and loose with the definition of new wave -- post-punk is another matter, since everything is pop-oriented -- it does include a number of singles that are more punk than anything else (Stiff Little Fingers' "Alternative Ulster," the Ruts' "Babylon Burning"), as well as a couple unexpected (if entirely fitting) inclusions from artists who aren't otherwise associated with new wave (Robert Palmer's "Johnny and Mary," Joan Armatrading's "Drop the Pilot"). There's a pronounced slant toward guitar-oriented bands, but there's still enough range to make it representative of the era.

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