Various Artists

Old School, Vol. 8

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The eighth volume of Thump's excellent, long-running Old School series offers another mixed bag of soul, funk, disco, electro, and pop-oriented '80s singles. As usual, Thump combines well-known hits that you still hear on the radio with less popular -- but no less significant -- tracks that either slipped through the cracks or continue to hibernate in the crates of disco and house DJs. Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland," Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell," and McFadden & Whitehead's "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" represent '70s disco, while later tracks from Egyptian Lover ("Freakaholic") and New Edition ("Candy Girl") help add variety. The stylistic leaps make the disc tough to listen to from start to finish, but the real charm of the Old School series is that you'll eventually come back to just about any track at some point. Cheryl Lynn's "Encore," the Mary Jane Girls' "In My House," and Roy Ayers Ubiquity's "Running Away" are other highlights on this volume.

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