The Living In Oblivion series of CD compilations does something that many similar compilations do NOT do: they give us some great variety of "hits".
There is no doubt that "Mickey" by Toni Basil was a huge hit. There's also no doubt that "Our Lips are Sealed" was a break out hit for the Go Go's, but the Funboy Three version wasn't. But what about "Living in a Box"? It only hit the Billboard top 100 at #89 in 1987. So why is it here? Why are a large number of these songs? They're not top 10 hits, right?
I'm sick to death of so many compilations relying on top 40 hits from the 80's. The U.S. music tastes are typically very different from those of Europe. Just because a song doesn't make the U.S. Billboard top 40 doesn't mean that it isn't a hit in other countries. And although I'm an American, my music tastes have always run more in line with those of Europe.
I'm delighted that the Living in Oblivion series (and the Pop and Wave series) have incorporated a variety of hits from the U.S. and Europe.
I also like that some of the more obscure groups and their songs are available on these compilations. There are several songs on these albums that never were released on CD (as they hadn't come into being at the time of the groups' albums initial releases), so albums such as these are the only place where you can find these hits. The Boys Don't Cry song "I Wanna Be a Cowboy" hit the Billboard charts at #12 in 1986, but the group disappeared soon thereafter. Then all of a sudden a dance version of that same song came out in the early 2000's and rocketed up the dance charts.
Don't be misled, the Living in Oblivion series is one of the absolutely best series for a variety of music from the 80's. If you want to hear run of the mill, top 40 only hits from the 80's, well, then you'll just have to look elsewhere.
Also, the liner notes and pictures of the groups included in the jewel box are really clever. You get to find out what the chart position was for the songs in the compilation and see what the groups looked like at the time of the song's release. My only issue with these liner notes is that the author of them seems to be disparaging the very music which these albums are espousing. Apparently many believe that the music from the 80's was vacuous and devoid of emotion. One need only listen to the song "The Promise" by the group "When in Rome" (Living in Oblivion Volume 5) to know that such a statement is false. While that group only had this one hit and then faded into obscurity, "The Promise" made the Billboard Top 100 at #11 and the Billboard Dance Chart at #1.
Anyway... I can't recommend this album and its entire series any more! It's simply awesome! Before believing those who would disparage this series of albums, please check the Billboard charts and you'll see that these songs were in fact hits.