Rather than devote a whole disc to one particular year, the Brentwood label's Then series focuses on two years on each volume. Each volume does a respectable job of capturing a specific span of time, as they generally stick to some of the most popular pop singles, with a significant emphasis on rock. Then: 1988-1989 includes Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistible," Great White's "Once Bitten Twice Shy," Technotronic's "Pump Up the Jam," Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," Debbie Gibson's "Foolish Beat," and Richard Marx's "Hold on to the Nights." If you don't buy a great deal of music, these discs are a decent way to obtaining a good number of radio favorites.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman