Dollar

Platinum Collection

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Though Dollar never had a high profile in the U.S., their importance in the U.K. can't be exaggerated, since the duo's work with Trevor Horn made for his first big successes after the Buggles and his brief stint with Yes, as well as laying the blueprint for his later worldwide smashes. Though phrasing it in those terms understates David Van Day and Thereza Bazar's own abilities -- if the songs that were done with Horn's help are truly their high points, their gossamer-like, gentle singing voices were actually perfectly appropriate for their tunes previous and subsequent to those. The Platinum Collection, part of a general series of greatest-hits repackages for Warner in the U.K. covering various bands, is a perfectly fine one-disc overview, starting with their best smashes of the Horn era -- the perky "Mirror Mirror" (also included at the end in demo form), the slow building dramatics of "Give Me Back My Heart" (the cascading conclusion alone is sheer, gorgeous, melodramatic pop genius) and most legendarily "Hand Held in Black and White," which also appears in its original extended remix. Its complex arrangements, heavy on the beat and with a great piano part to boot, caught the ear of Martin Fry of ABC, helping to lead to the peerless Lexicon of Love album, but the song easily stands on its own, a combination of sweetly soaring voices and a technical ability that remains a striking landmark of early-'80s new wave pop. "Videotheque" isn't far behind the rest of them, though it's more of a follow-on (the lyrical reference to "Hand Held in Black and White" is a nice touch). Many of the other songs are more pleasant than deathless, though they slot into their time and place in professional post-Blondie/ABBA fashion -- with crisp rhythms, just enough synths, and radio-friendly hooks all over the place, as "The Second Time Around" and "The Girls Are Out to Get Ya" show.

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