The stylistic broadness of Rhino U.K.'s budget-priced Smash Hits series could only be appealing to voracious fans of popular '80s music. This volume, covering 1986, features Anita Baker's "Sweet Love," Nu Shooz' "I Can't Wait," New Order's "Shellshock," and the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Some Candy Talking," as well as a couple of the year's biggest ballads in Peter Cetera's "Glory of Love" and Simply Red's "Holding Back the Years." However, since the series doesn't go outside the domain of Warner distribution, plenty of artists show up several times throughout the course of the series, often with second- and third-tier minor hits -- the likes of Fine Young Cannibals, ZZ Top, and Bronski Beat being benefactors here.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman