Customer Review

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More 80s pop, than 80s electronic - if you ask me, 26 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Anthems Electronic 80s 3 (Audio CD)
Ministry of Sound returns to its "Electronic" compilation series after a 2 year gap that they tried and failed to fill with Anthems Alternative 80s.

It's a case of the law of diminishing returns I'm afraid for what I would predict might be the last of this series. Volume three suffers more than the previous volumes from licensing restrictions apparently limiting the song selections. Plus, it seems to have been compiled by some sort of LastFM-type algorithm rather than a human. And as for the dude who wrote the liner notes, the less said about him the better: some sort of lame attempt to appeal to the Hollister generation, maybe? And he doesn't seem to have listened to the CDs either. He uses about 10% of the word-count reminiscing about a song that's not even on here (Simple Minds "Don't You Forget About Me").

What of the music? The usual suspects feature across the three discs: New Order ("Confusion" - Substance re-recording, not the original, sadly), Joy Division, Human League, Nu Shooz, Yello, Herbie Hancock ("Rockit"), Jan Hammer, Harold Faltermeyer, Visage, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Ultravox, Gary Numan, Erasure. Like these artists or not - you would expect to find them on an electronic pop compilation, so fair do's. Then there's the unexpected, though still worthy inclusions: Swing Out Sister, Joe Jackson, Talk Talk, The Dream Academy, Blondie, Go West, The Cure, Roxy Music, Tears for Fears, The Associates, Animotion, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel AND Phil Lynott/Midge Ure's "Yellow Pearl" (an old "Top of the Pops" theme tune many will remember)...but, good though these artists are they're not exactly the first names that would spring to mind to feature on an episode of "Synth Britannia", are they? And then padded out with the likes of Wang Chung, The Thompson Twins, Duran Duran, King, INXS - well, you can see why this compilation lacks the character of the first two.

Whilst Anthems - Electronic 80s and Anthems Electronic 80S 2 largely satisfied, number three just makes me want to go and check out the Chromatics' LP.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Nov 2012 19:57:27 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 19 Sep 2014 00:41:30 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2012 21:18:09 GMT
Thanks Gst0395. Whilst this release disappoints (and, by the way, well spotted that some of the tracks appear on similar MoS compilations), if you have vols 1 and 2 then, like me, you probably HAVE to have 3 as well.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2012 02:27:17 GMT
D. Heseltine says:
I bought 1 and 2, but I'm probably going to give this 1 a miss. They've exhausted the series now for me, and your review was helpful in my decision so thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2012 19:16:44 GMT
You're welcome D Heseltine - and I agree the series is exhausted. It wouldn't be the end of the world if you got this CD in your Christmas stocking though.

Posted on 30 Nov 2012 22:09:44 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Nov 2012 22:13:37 GMT
Gst0395 says:
Thanks Colin, and just some more observations about the tracklisting. Although I am satisfied with a good majority of songs on the playlist (like "The Look of Love", "Take on Me" and "(Keep Feeling) Fascination"), I'm dissapointed with several other choices. First, I cannot even begin to imagine WHY they included "Word Up" by Cameo on the album, which is a Funk/Hip-Hop/RnB song that feels COMPLETELY out of place on an "Electronic" compilation (not saying it's a bad song, it's just a very poor choice), and it was probably already on one of the "80s Groove" albums they've released. Second, there seems to be too much soft rock on here rather than synthpop. Although it was nice to include the Miami Vice theme (which does fit the Miami-style album art nicely), it doesn't feel very "Electronic". Third, they really missed out some stuff that would have been perfect for the compilation, maybe they could have added "Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora (which is quite rare on compilation CDs), "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats and hell, anything by Depeche Mode would have been nice but third time in a row they leave them out. They managed to get "Personal Jesus" on their "Indie" compilation so I'm very confused as to why they left them out in this "80s Electronic" compilation. Even if they'd reused the song (like they've done with several here) I still would have been somewhat satisfied.

Although I await getting this for Christmas very soon, I am rather disappointed in the tracklisting here. I certainly hope this isn't the final instalment in the series, as they still have another chance to improve their choice of songs. Maybe MoS should hire me so I can improve their bizarre tracklisting, despite that this sort of music is before my time.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2012 22:30:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Dec 2012 00:28:36 GMT
DM were on the Indie compilation were they? That makes the track selections on here look all the more peculiar. Oddly enough though, I'm quite liking Phil Lynott's "Yellow Pearl". Sign of a true musical genius if you can turn your hand to any genre.

Posted on 1 Dec 2012 00:06:07 GMT
Gst0395 says:
I listened to a sample of that song on the MoS website. Sounds like one of the best tracks on the album, I think Midge Ure from Ultravox was involved in that song.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2012 00:27:58 GMT
Yes - he has a writing credit and may well have been involved otherwise, I'm not sure. That's the beauty of compilations like these - you get the chance to re-appraise the stuff that passed you by the first time.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2012 05:15:30 GMT
D. Heseltine says:
I've had another look and I think I'm going to get it after all, there are some pretty decent songs on here, I just can't pass it by.

You may be reappraising songs that passed you by the 1st time, but I'm only 27 so I was a bit young 1st time around, I'm just a bit of an electro music buff, and I adore the 80s sound, even if I was a bit young to appreciate it the tunes that were actually released when I was alive

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2012 09:21:28 GMT
I envy you being new(er) to some of this stuff. I tend to forget not everyone actually REMEMBERS the 80s! Once you've got the CD, you should review it - it would be good to read a review of someone who doesn't have so much of a nostalgic perspective.
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Colin McCartney
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Location: United Kingdom

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