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|Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark||Composer|
|Ira Robbins||Liner Notes|
|Carl "Chas Smash" Smyth||Composer|
|Doug Haverty||Art Direction|
|Chuck Gullo||Executive Producer|
Posted October 1, 2010
Top Sail’s recent pair of collections, one featuring 70s classic rock, and this one featuring 80s new wave hits, are an interesting contrast. Both catalog the commercial spin of underground movements; 70s classic rock having been, to a large extent, a by-product of underground rock of the late 60s, and 80s new wave having been a commercial spin-off of late-70s punk rock. What separates them, however, is the humanity and lasting listenability of the music. ¶ The guitar-fueled rock of the 70s retains an earthy presence that, while certainly of its time in many ways, still shows much of the music’s original vitality. In contrast, 80s new wave, or at least many of the cuts anthologized here, feel contrived. Perhaps it’s an inability to separate these tracks from the embryonic videos that gained them play on a pre-geologic MTV. How can anyone hear A Flock of Seagull’s "I Ran (So Far Away)" without thinking of Mike Score’s haircut? Or a-ha’s "Take On Me" without remembering the accompanying animated/live-action video? Perhaps it’s just the disposable nature of so many of these bands - the count of one-hit wonders is lengthy. ¶ Nearly every one of these tracks is likely to make you think more of the video that made it a hit than where you were or who you were with the first time it played. And perhaps that’s a mark of just how well this volume is selected, since they show just how influential style and video were for top-40 new wave of the 80s. Since many of these tracks were produced to sound mechanical, it’s no surprise that they retain that feeling today. But what might have sounded innovative in 1982, now sounds like an over-reliance on synthesizers. What still stands out, though, are the remarkable vocalists (Annie Lennox, Boy George, Roland Gift, and Chrissie Hynde, among others) who often fronted these bands. Top Sail’s stuffed nearly 80 minutes of music on this disc, providing your retro-80s party non-stop dancing action!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.