A double CD celebrating the 25th anniversary of the U.K. magazine that made everyone aware of Spandau Ballet's favorite color (or as they would say, "favourite colour"), Smash Hits: Reunion splits its overview of pop's fluffier moments into an '80s disc and a disc for the '90s to the present. No big surprise that the '80s disc is the better of the two, considering it was the magazine's heyday. There are some questionable choices for non-Anglophiles ("Baggy Trousers" as the representative Madness song and "It's a Sin" for the Pet Shop Boys), but one has to admire the English youth for putting both the Specials and Ultravox on top of the charts. Lacking the genre-busting excitement of the first disc, the second sticks with the corporate-issued fun that dominated the charts for the next 20 years. There are plenty of top-notch songs, but only the reggae of Shaggy and a slow evolution into club culture give any indication that the kids were able to step away from their Playstations long enough to start a music revolution. Regardless, it's a giddy and gratifying look back from the magazine "dedicated solely to pop music and teenagers." Young guns should go for it.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2