Various Artists

Totally Awesome 80's: 1980-1982

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Americans who find themselves unfamiliar with many of the tunes on this collection of '80s pop hits should realize that the disc is UK-derived, so these songs WERE hits somewhere. Alongside such US staples as Kim Carnes's "Bette Davis Eyes" and the J. Geils Band's "Centerfold," TOTALLY AWESOME 80's affords the casual US listener the opportunity to get friendly with the early-'80s British "new romantic" scene, as represented by the synth-tinged, Bowie-influenced dance-rock of Duran Duran ("Planet Earth"), Classix Nouveaux ("Is it a Dream"), and the late, lamented Spandau Ballet ("Chant No. 1"). Along the way, we're also treated to the mod-soul sound of pre-"Eileen" Dexy's Midnight Runners and a surprisingly effective cover of Tom Rush's ballad "No Regrets" by Ultravox frontman Midge Ure. The early '80s; how sweet they were.

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