Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's, Vol. 5

Volume 4 of Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's was for the new wave diehards -- Volume 5 is for the doubters. This is the installment for neophytes, or for the doubters who don't believe that new wave was a spectacular singles era. That doesn't mean that everything here is terrific, or every listener will like everything here, but it does mean that there's a wealth of great music here, and the best songs, whatever your taste might be, will convert you to new wave and make you seek out other volumes of this series, or at least albums from the featured artists. Why is this so good? Because it has hits as definitive as Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy," Kim Wilde's "Kids in America," and A Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran (So Far Away)." Because it has the Waitresses' unbearably sexy "I Know What Boys Like" (the great new wave girl anthem) and the unabashedly geeky and sweet "Love Plus One" by Haircut One Hundred. Because it has Marshall Crenshaw's thrilling update of Buddy Holly, "Someday, Someway," and Tommy Tutone's stylish power pop "867-5309/Jenny." Because it has the Go-Go's beach-movie salute "Vacation" followed by Frank Zappa's greatest novelty, "Valley Girl." Because it has songs as arty as Gang of Four's "I Love a Man in Uniform" and Japan's "The Art of Parties," plus Toni Basil's cheerleader singalong "Mickey" and the Jam's Motown tribute, "A Town Called Malice." These songs (in addition to those not mentioned, all equally worthy) are all new wave gems and, put together, they result in an irresistible volume of an irresistible series. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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