Review - Sounds of the 80s

Sounds of the 80s (2CDs, Rhino)

Sara Cox. Does that name ring any bells?

Well, Sara is the crowning queen of all things 80s in the UK. She presents a weekly Saturday night show-off on BBC2, twisting the corroded cap off a fun and fizzy selection of forever unforgotten mid-eighties floor fillers.

Every week, leg warmers are dropped to reveal stone washed songs, bedazzled beats, alongside a good grab bag of guilty pleasure. To celebrate the endless cash cow that is the good ship ‘80s’, Warner Music has brought together a modern mash-up of the decades worst and wonderful, re-visited by today’s biggest pop performers.

At first, this double dose of eighties excess sparked curiosity and sentimental condemnation, I mean, how dare anyone alter my images or play wicked games with my high school hits? However, there are some very cool cuts in amongst the questionable re-jigs, with many making it onto my elusive and exclusive playlists.

Sultry songstress Lisa Stansfield dims the ever changing mood with a sleepy version of Style Council’s sizzling “You’re the best thing”, whilst Sam Smith’s broody boyish bash on Whitney’s “How will I Know” sniffs a soulful line towards cabaret coolness. My choice cut would have to be the Manic Street Preachers re-launching of the Stones “Start me up”, with Birdy’s quaint take on Madonna’s “Lucky Star”, a cute close second.

Even as an alcohol charged pre-pub quiz squabble, this crafty compilation is sure to feature highly on the lacquered lips of gleeful game players at the next open mike office party. Relax, just do it, you know you want to.

Available here

Dave T

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