Scientists

The Human Jukebox: 1984 - 1986

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The Human Jukebox isn't a greatest-hits collection and doesn't include all of Scientists' best songs (like "Swampland"). But the compilation, which combines the original Human Jukebox LP with the You Get What You Deserve EP, comes close. This snapshot of the now-U.K.-based Aussies' career, circa 1984-1986, catches them near the top of their game. Granted, the more balladic numbers -- Nancy Sinatra's "You Only Live Twice" and "It Must Be Nice" -- are the weakest vocally, but singer/songwriter Kim Salmon makes them work anyway by dint of sheer charisma and chutzpah. Which is to say, no one would ever confuse him for Sinatra's esteemed paterfamilias, but could Ole Blue Eyes have handled something as downright, well, explosive as "Atom Bomb Baby"? Sympathy for the Record Industry has done Scientists fans -- and fans-to-be -- a big favor by making this fine material available domestically. Although there are no bonus tracks, Salmon's characteristically frank liner notes make for a nice addition.

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