It's a safe bet that no one, back in 1987 or so, would have envisioned that in a mere dozen or so years, two CDs worth of ultra-fashionable yet low-selling indie rock -- the kind lionized on college radio stations and in fanzines throughout the U.S. at the time -- would be compiled by K-Tel. (And it's only volume one!) Granted, K-Tel had changed a lot by the time of this 2000 anthology, amassing a growing catalog of releases with an alternative slant. But it's still a shock to see the Minutemen, Savage Republic, and Half Japanese on a disc bearing the K-Tel logo. Listening to this 30-song collection of '80s indiedom is like listening to a typical college radio station circa the mid- to late '80s, or skimming through a pile of back issues of Option magazine (whose publisher, Scott Becker, wrote the liner notes). In a way it's almost too pat, with many of the most properly hip names represented -- Hüsker Dü, Yo La Tengo, Dinosaur Jr., the Meat Puppets, the Mekons, Galaxie 500, Black Flag, Mudhoney, the Flaming Lips, the Chills -- but virtually no idiosyncratic surprises. There are a number of less celebrated icons, though, including My Dad Is Dead, Squirrel Bait, Death of Samantha, Nikki Sudden, and Scrawl. Some obvious names are missing -- one must assume that Sonic Youth and Camper Van Beethoven, for instance, didn't clear licensing or something. As of 2000 there was a severe shortage of retrospective compilations of indie post-punk of the '80s, so if you're totally unfamiliar with that genre, this collection should give you a pretty fair idea of what it was all about. Even if you do remember what it was all about, but weren't a fanatical collector, the relatively high quality of the selections will make it a decent gap-filler. It must be noted, however, that this certainly isn't what you would use to make an argument for '80s indie rock as one of the most diverse and eclectic rock genres. There's a preponderance of heavy and aggressive post-punk guitar-dominated tunes that are much longer on attitude than they are on melody or textural variation. This disc isn't out to make that argument, though, but merely to reflect the sound and stance of a style, which it does reasonably well.