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One of the Best Albums of the 1980s,
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This review is from: Songs From The Big Chair (Audio CD)
This is a review of the remastered CD with additional tracks. I was there in 1985 as a twenty-year-old fan who considered - and still considers - this to be one of the best albums of the decade. There are no duff tracks, and the hits `Shout', `Everybody Wants to Rule the World', and `Head over Heels' are each worthy of five stars on their own.
The generous sleevenotes give further background information to the origins and development of "that difficult second album." I cannot say that I understand the gist of all the lyrics on the album, but they are sung with great conviction. Concepts about mothers and about the nature of belief are prominent. These were also present in thirst first album, but now the tracks themselves are given space to grow and mature.
As well as the brilliant production and superlative arrangements, the duo and their producer Chris Hughes showed imagination as well in their track-listing. It was a good decision to open side two with a ballad, for instance, and the return of `Broken' at the end of `Head over Heels' is like the recapitulation of a symphonic movement. The eighth and last track brings the set to an unexpectedly confident conclusion.
With reference to the extras, these largely comprise the early building blocks of many of the tracks, as well as a couple of remixes. None of these bonus tracks are particularly worthy in themselves.