A third synth-tastic compilation from Cherry Red Records! Following the first (1980) and second (1981) CD box sets, this one inevitably covers 1982. There could be one for every year of that decade and I’d buy them all.
Although I really liked this compilation, for me it did not quite match the others. I think this is because, with electronic pop becoming mainstream, it didn’t sound so innovative, even when it was. You wouldn’t guess that music would sound so different one or two years ahead, but it certainly does. There are not so many ‘live’ instruments, at least in this selection, and there is a more commercial feel.
As before, there is a mix of well-known artists (OMD, Kim Wilde, Heaven 17, New Order, Toyah, etc), the moderately famous and several obscure ones. The interesting booklet tells you something about every artist and has photos of some.
The best songs, in my opinion – including those I already knew before listening to the album – are Talk Talk – ‘Mirror Man’, Japan – ‘European Son’, Colourbox – ‘Breakdown’, Tears for Fears – ‘Pale Shelter’ (original), Planning by Numbers – ‘Lightning Strikes’, Faith Global – ‘Coded World’, Thirteen at Midnight – ‘Climb Down’, The Human League – ‘You Remind Me of Gold’, Leisure Process – ‘Love Cascade’. There are a few weird ones, such as Arthur Brown – ‘Conversations’, Soft Cell – ‘Sex Dwarf’, Kevin Coyne – ‘Tell the Truth’, Telex – ‘Sigmund Freud’s Party’.
In summary, an ideal listen if you like 80s electronic and are looking for ‘new old’ music.