The Original Electro Album would've had a completely different title if it weren't for the New York-based electroclash scene that sprouted up in the early 2000s. In fact, it might not have even been put together in the first place. Just like the electroclash scene -- which produced ironic, punky dance acts like Fischerspooner and W.I.T. and supported tangentially similar artists like Felix da Housecat, Adult., and Miss Kittin -- The Original Electro Album has little to do with the form of electronic funk pioneered by the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, the Egyptian Lover, and Cybotron during the early '80s. Instead, this set exposes where the heart of the electroclash scene lies -- in electronics-heavy British pop groups from the same time period. The Human League's "Love Action (I Believe in Love)," Heaven 17's "Crushed by the Wheels of Industry," Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's "Tesla Girls," Ultravox's "The Thin Wall," and Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science" expose the scene's roots rather accurately. On the other hand, the two Simple Minds inclusions -- "Promised You a Miracle" and "Life in a Day" -- are wrongfully chosen instead of much more fitting songs like "I Travel" and "Reel to Real." Somewhat funnily, the style-over-substance nature of some of the groups from the 2000s is reflected with the inclusion of Sigue Sigue Sputnik -- perhaps the smartest and most sinister inclusion here. Regardless of the disc's opportunistic nature, it offers plenty of excellent post-punk and new wave.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman