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Thoughtful compilation in the series - even if one or two are mastered from vinyl
on 25 September 2009
Ever since volume 1 (released by Family Recordings) this series has always been one of the more thoughtful compilation projects out there, rather than chucking every one-hit wonder pop 12" from the decade onto CD.
Volumes 1 and 2 in particular were a nicely eclectic mix, including some rarities and unexpected inclusions (which you'd often forgotten how good they were). Volumes 1 and 2 also had the odd tracklisting error, or in one case, the track jumped in mastering (Aztec Camera) and was also not the mix listed (but a much rarer one).
This volume is again superbly focussed and compiled, even if some initial circulated tracklistings were completey wrong. We get a disc of classics, a breakbeat influenced disc and a disc that crosses electronic and indie/funk genres (is "Wheel Me Out" really electro-pop?). So generally top marks to the compiler, as this concept works really well.
However as with previous volumes there are some minor issues, the aforementioned track-time errors ("White Horse" is listed as a US Edit, but is only 3.50, not 5.50, and "Wheel Me Out" also suffers from a duration typo). Then there is the hint of mastering the odd track from vinyl. I guess there was no way around this, and the sources are clean/sympathetically-mastered, so it's still great to have Associates' "Club Country" original 12" on CD for the first time (I think) even with the odd quiet pop. The vast majority are from masters/digital sources ofcourse, so don't qorry!
Highlights also includes the rarer '2nd' 12" remix of "Close To The Edit" (does not feature any Prodigy-sampled "Hey Hey"s), an unusual choice, "Pleasure Boys" Dance Mix (for those who were rightly peeved it was missed off "The Anvil" reissue) and "Einstein A Go-Go 12"" (again, omitted from the bonuses on "From The Tea Rooms Of Mars..." 2005 reissue). Class acts aplenty across quite a diverse spectrum on this set, and really great sequencing/balancing of the songs.
If you are buying one 80s compilation set this year, then this is definitely the one to choose (4.5 stars really)!