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Contains some of the late 20th & early 21st centuries' most influential artists
on 15 November 2010
...still no Depeche Mode though - which was many people's criticism of volume 1 of this otherwise excellent series. Nevertheless this is for me an even stronger compilation than that.
So, we DO get Kraftwerk, Paddy McAloon, Trevor Horn, Tangerine Dream, David Bowie, David Sylvian, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Thomas Dolby - to name but eight. There are (again mirroring vol. 1) some inspired selections too - The Stranglers "Golden Brown", Wham's "Everything She Wants" and "When Love Breaks Down" by Prefab Sprout - not what anyone would call definitive electronic records but, they fit in with the compilers' apparent aim of educating and entertaining. Check, for example, "Beatbox" by The Art of Noise - the track that, rumour has it, sent Kraftwerk back into the studio to re-record their already delayed "Electric Cafe" LP. Then there's Freeez's "IOU" - produced by Arthur Baker at around the same time he was producing New Order's "Confusion" and a much better record than the latter - probably because on "IOU" the participants remembered to write a song.
Gripes? Well at this price it's difficult to grumble BUT...two Frankie Goes To Hollywood tracks, effectively back-to-back allowing for changing between discs 1 and 2, is one too many. Duran Duran's "Save a Prayer" - an influence on electronic music undoubtedly, but it's not on here, instead it's "Hungry Like The Wolf" (hmmm...). Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" is not a song I would have owned but for this either. The sound quality's a bit tinny - like it's been mastered from an MP3 or something. And then there's some sort of IPod advert in the booklet - I hate that type of stuff.
But really I'm nitpicking. Music the quality of "Forbidden Colours", "Souvenir", "The Model", "Love On A Real Train" more than makes up for any shortcomings. After all, this will be one of the rare opportunities I will get to play music I love, and my guests will at least tolerate, at this year's Christmas party. Try as I might, Wolfgang Voigt's Freiland Klaviermusik still empties the house.