BBC Music Productions – 2001 – 158 minutes
Okay so it's an inevitability and requires zero marketing imagination but nonetheless, the BBC have wasted no time in bringing out a CD espousing the musical zeitgeist of the 1980s to accompany the TV programme. The series itself trawls over the disastrous fashions, the events of the decade and the tunes that we all bought, hummed or hated.
These sort of compilations promise an 80's treasure trove of music which usually means you won't find most of the music that made the decade great like The Smiths, The Fall, Depeche Mode or Talking Heads, but you will find yourself, for the most part, elbow deep in cheese. Filling two CDs with great 80s tunes shouldn’t be a difficult task. Ok, you're never gonna please everyone, but including Rick Astley AND Tiffany on the same compilation and allowing Kaoma's 'Lambada' to usurp one valuable slot seems painfully imperceptive.
Predictably Duran Duran, Human League and Frankie Goes to Hollywood all feature, as do Toni Basil's 'Mickey' and Altered Images pop classic 'Happy Birthday'. For 80's woe-inspired cringe-inducement there's A Flock of Seagulls 'Wishing (I Had a Photograph of You)' and Spandau Ballet's 'True'. Fun comes in the form of Adam and The Ants 'Stand and Deliver' and Wham's hilarious testosterone anthem 'Bad Boys' ("Easy girls and late nights, cigarettes and lovebites, why do you have to be so cruel, you're such a fool!")
Minimum imagination seems to have dominated the selection process here, and another soulless compilation begs for attention it doesn't deserve. The only inspired choices include the electro-politik of Paul Hardcastle's '19', the Stone Roses anthem 'Fool's Gold' and the excellent rock-rap crossover 'Walk this Way'. Save your cash and buy a second-hand vinyl copy of 'The Queen is Dead' or 'Stop Making Sense' and REALLY get to love the 80s.
CD 1 Tracklisting: Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie) – Chant No. 1(Spandau Ballet) – Girls On Film (Duran Duran) – Love Action (The Human League) – Enola Gay (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) – Call Me (Blondie) – Happy Birthday (Altered Images) – Stand and Deliver (Adam and the Ants) – It Ain't What You Do It's The Way That You Do It (Fun Boy Three) – Oops Upside Your Head (The Gap Band) – Body Talk (Imagination) – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? (Culture Club) – Kids in America (Kim Wilde) – Mickey (Toni Basil) – Our House (Madness) – Bad Boys (Wham!) – Two Tribes (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) – The Riddle (Nik Kershaw) – Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) - A Flock of Seagulls – You're The Best Thing (The Style Council) – True (Spandau Ballet)
CD 2 Tracklisting: Take On Me (Aha) – You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) – Nineteen (Paul Hardcastle) – Miami Vice Theme (Jan Hammer) – The Power Of Love (Huey Lewis & The News) – Don't You Forget About Me – (Simple Minds) – (Walk This Way) - Run DMC featuring Aerosmith – Fight For Your Right To Party (The Beastie Boys) – If You Let Me Stay (Terence Trent D'Arby) – Kiss (Prince & The Revolution) – Fools Gold (The Stone Roses) – Back To Life (Soul II Soul Featuring Karen Wheeler) – I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye) – Absolute Beginners (David Bowie) – All Around The World (Lisa Stansfield) – I Think We're Alone Now (Tiffany) – Heaven Is A Place On Earth (Belinda Carlisle) – Theme From S-Express (S-Express) – Good Life (Inner City) – Lambada (Kaoma)