ALBUM TITLE : 80’S RECOVERED; YOUR SONGS
WITH 8’S SOUNDS
ARTIST : VARIOUS ARTISTS
GENRE : POP
DATE RELEASED : 2015
This record answers the question “what if your favorite 80’s band will perform one of your favorite songs?” The answers are varied of course and each of the track describes thoughts of many 80’s fans when answering the question. It is not surprising for any singers or bands to do cover versions or remake of any hit songs or classic ditties from fellow artists. It is a sign of respect, appreciation, and being human that they have their own favorite songs just like us. So, how this album fare?
Watch and Listen fan made video of “High and Dry” by ABC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr2AmpkUTn4
First, it is important to highlight that this is a two CD collection where the first CD is composed of cover versions and the second CD is composed of remix versions of the songs performed in CD1. Purist may find it exploitative to tamper with the original version but here in this record, the producers probably wanted to show that there are many ways a song can be appreciated and by producing two versions merely showed that these 80’s band and singers were not just stuck in that decade. They can rise above the 80’s by doing both the original version and remixed it.
Listen to China Crisis performed Carole King’s “It’s Too Late.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUaJhxsJJnk
What you have now is an interesting two CD set where the first one might come as a surprise package as the performers did not really dilute the original version but merely infuse their own style which they are famous with. For example, ABC delivered the falsetto like vocal performance Radiohead did with “High and Dry” but ABC version however, owned the song in this set. Another is that of China Crisis where Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” was delivered like a slow dance record. The obscure performer Black remained faithful to Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and after you are done listening to the song, you felt that it was still Chris Isaak singing. Heaven 17’s take on Elton John’s “Rocket Man” remain true to form but somehow there is something lacking; maybe the singing was not quite insincere compared with the original.
Listen to Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” performed by Black https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxeNrMeJHE8
Some of the choices were quite a surprise, like Go West doing “Human” by The Killers. Go West is too pop that is why they were good with “What You Won’t Do For Love.” But with “Human” they treated the song as if they sung it originaly thus, listeners end up feeling confused if The Killers changed style or it’s just Go West having improved their stuff. Belinda Carlisle’s choice of a Creedence Clearwater Revival classic is also a surprise choice. Fans would surely want her to do female rock but somehow her take on this rock classic ended up like a track in her Runaway Horse album. Of course it is a surprise that Kim Carnes is here doing a Rolling Stone cover of Under My Thumb. For some, it is quite unimaginable for Johnny Hates Jazz to cover Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” but they did and it was just okay; there was not attempt by the band to make it smoky vocally but just sung it as if they wrote the song in the first place.
There are also minor disappointments in here like Samantha Fox covering Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” which unfortunately you wished that she covered other disco or dance song as her cover version just bastardized this revered disco classic. “Girls and Boys” by Blur was a fun song especially when they performed it during the Brit Awards during the nineties. Wang Chungs take on this classic alternative nineties song lacked in substance. They just made the song like a filler track instead of a hit song. Kim Wilde’s version of Captain and Tennile’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” ended up like a remake version just like with what she did with “You Keep Me Hanging On.’
The second CD is a wonderful bonus if you find the first CD repulsive to your taste and insists that the original version should not be tampered. This CD will give you an alibi to listen to the cover version without feeling guilty when it comes to loyalty. It is a remix version thus, you have the reason that you just want to listen to a remix version of your favorite song.
As a whole, the whole set is quite engaging. I rate this 2 CD album 4 stars for being true to form and giving listeners a chance to listen to an updated version fo their favorite songs.
1 star = Ignore it
2 stars= risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 = buy, keep, and treasure it