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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contains some of the late 20th & early 21st centuries' most influential artists, 15 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Anthems Electronic 80S 2 (Audio CD)
...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.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Nov 2010 22:19:25 GMT
Gerry O'D says:
I bought Anthems Electronic 80S 2 on the strength of this review, looking forward to having a listen. I like the compilers' slightly Balearic approach of putting in some off-beam selections.

But I'd have liked to have seen them giving space to some of the lesser-known cats:

Fiat Lux, Hard Corps, Naked Eyes, Seona Dancing, The Higsons, Fra Lippo Lippi, Abecedarians, Thomas Leer, Cook da Books, i-Level, The Lotus Eaters, Eyeless In Gaza, Brilliant, Funkapolitan, Latin Quarter, The Questions, Tracie, etc.

Not that I remember the 80s, you understand. I'm way too old for that.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2010 23:12:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Dec 2010 23:56:41 GMT
Thanks for your kind words Alex. Just hope the CD lives up to your expectations.

Fra Lippo Lippi is a good call. I also think The Associates would fit perfectly in this series.

BTW if it's the Lotus Eaters you're after, check volume 1.

Cheers - Colin

Posted on 17 Nov 2010 19:08:35 GMT
Young Goblin says:
Great review - as my New Romantic phase in 1982 is still my happiest time (even better than being involved in acid house 1988-90 albeit for personal reasons rather than objective ones) it really triggers of a lot of great memories but some of the selections are about as relevant to "electronic" as Buddy Holly.When there's so much relevant stuff they could have included (early Level 42 12"s, loads of Visage mixes,early Talk Talk, Blue Zoo etc and didn't) as well as you say getting the Duran Duran stuff wrong (ie Hungry Like the Wolf just about the most rocky as opposed to the great new pop 12 inches they recorded they were recording at that point). And don't get me started on house/acid house which was already massive as we entered 1987 - the acid house (rave) scene was still a year away but "Jack Your Body" was number 1...why does house get completely sidelined?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Nov 2010 20:13:07 GMT
Many thanks Young Goblin

I personally don't get the impression they're trying to sideline house (- the bulk of my record collection is US house and techno). My guess it that it's more the case that the core theme of this compilation is British electropop - and house music maybe strays too far from that. Plus, you could argue that the one thing the world does not need is yet another Ministry of Sound house compliation.

I agree "Jack Your Body" would have been a worthy inclusion though. Roll on volume 3?

Or if they ever do an Electronic 90s comp then they most certainly could not ignore house then.

Best wishes - Colin

Posted on 27 Nov 2010 21:20:12 GMT
Depeche Mode very rarely let any of they're tunes available on compilations unless it's a Mute compilation. They argue that if you want Depeche Mode then buy they're albums instead!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2010 23:45:36 GMT
Good info. Mr Sanderson - a point I totally hadn't clocked.

I'm a big Kraftwerk fan and was surprised they, too, allowed one of their songs (albeit the best known one) to be used on an MoS compilation - since, Kraftwerk are (rightly) also notably reluctant to feature on compilations.

Likewise, total respect to Depeche Mode for not compromising their artistic integrity. But, surely even they realise that cutting loose of, say, "New Life", "I Just Can't Get Enough", "Strangelove" (to name but three) would do more good than harm? On the basis of education, as opposed to entertainment?

All the very best - Colin

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2011 14:27:58 GMT
Hi there,

Great review, but I would have bought the album regardless (Sparks, Heaven 17, A Flock of Seagulls and Propaganda in the same box? Take my money, please!) I definately agree that The Associates have been overlooked massively in these compliations, Club Country still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end! It sad that they seem to have been forgotten.

I appreciate that Depeche Mode are reluctant to allow their backcatalogue to be used in compilations (Yet they had not issues with EMI using their back catalogue for the "NOW" Series). Maybe even Master & Servant or perhaps The Meaning of Love, it cannot do much harm, and may in fact give people who only know them for a small handful of tracks a better idea of their versitility and why they are revered :)

Many Thanks,

Natalie

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Mar 2011 18:44:33 GMT
Many thanks indeed Natalie.

Glad you agree re The Associates (though I may be biased as Alan Rankine went to the same school as me - my only claim to fame).

As for Depeche Mode, they need to lighten up and license a track or two for the next volume.

Very best wishes - Colin

Posted on 24 Oct 2012 00:27:06 BDT
Eric Generic says:
Bit late to the party, but I found this in a used store recently and had to get it just for the original version of Forbidden Colours. I believe this is the only place to find it! The packaging's ace - not really one to drool over gatefold digipaks but this particular fold out design is stunning.

I must have about 99.9% of what's on here on other CDs (probably more than once! ouch), but the mix of FGTH's Pleasuredome seems another one exclusive to this (I've got the CD-single somewhere, and I swear it's about 30 seconds longer than the mix on this compilation..hmm). As for the rest, some may stretch the concept a little, but honestly I couldn't care less because it's all good stuff at the end of the day.
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Colin McCartney
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Location: United Kingdom

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