Any Trouble

The Complete Stiff Recordings 1980-1981

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Any Trouble belonged to the last wave of great Stiff acts -- the wave that arrived in the early '80s and were somewhat obscured by the success of Madness. Any Trouble sounded nothing like Madness. Led by Clive Gregson, they did indeed sound a bit like Elvis Costello, like so many bespectacled nerdy guys with guitars did in 1980 and 1981. That Costello comparison may have haunted Gregson for a while, but Any Trouble's records for Stiff -- 1980's Where Are All the Nice Girls?, 1981's Wheels in Motion, plus the promotional concert album Live at the Venue -- are strong, New Wave guitar pop in their own right: superlative pop with a slight ska beat that's irresistible thanks to its hooks and clever lyrics. This triple-disc set has those three records (the live set has been difficult to find, only seeing official release on Germany's Line in 1989), plus bonus tracks, making this a definitive portrait of the band, one that supplants all the previous worthy contenders.

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