Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: '100 Hits: Punk & New Wave'

Don’t be duped by the totally no frills packaging; Demon Music Group’s 100 Hits: Punk & New Wave is a first-rate budget package collecting a bit of essential and a whole lot of obscure. The title alone is priceless. Were there even 100 punk and new wave hits during the ‘70s and ‘80s? Not likely. So the compilers aren’t required to assemble five discs of material anyone should expect to be definitive. Yes, there are beloved warhorses from The Sex Pistols, Blondie, The Buzzcocks, X-Ray Spex, and XTC. And certainly no one with even a passing interest in this kind of music should be without full-length L.P. by those artists. The real value of this set is the odd treasures by Department S, Fad Gadget, D.A.F., Modern Eon, Leyton Buzzards, The Records, The Flys, Honey Bane, and many others.

Because this set covers such a wide swath of sub-genres, the compilers arranged the individual discs fairly thoughtfully. There are few jarring stylistic shifts. The Human League isn’t sandwich between, say, The Saints and The Fun Boy Three. Disc one is the most eclectic, providing an overview of each subgenre to come and parading out most of the best known tracks (“God Save the Queen”! “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)””! “Hanging on the Telephone”! “Whip It”!). Disc two is mostly devoted to synthy, dancey new wave. Disc three is cheekily split between the set’s lightest and heaviest numbers. Disc four spotlights power pop and ska. Disc five is wall-to-wall punk.

There are plenty of budget CD series out there, but Demon’s 100 Hits line is unique. Along with the usual Disco, ‘80s Classics, and Rock Anthems compilations, there are such unconventional themes as Northern Soul, The New Romantics, and Indie. The concept of a Punk & New Wave compilation is nothing particularly novel, but the track choice makes it a quirky and worthwhile alternative to more essential and conventionally compiled sets, such as Rhino’s No Thanks! The ‘70s Punk Rebellion.

Here’s the complete track list:

CD 1
1  Hanging On The Telephone
2  Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've?)
3  God Save The Queen
4  Into The Valley
The Skids
5  Shot By Both Sides
6  Sound Of The Suburbs
The Members - Offshore Banking Business
7  Babylon's Burning
The Ruts
8  Is Vic There?
Department S
9  Public Image
Public Image Ltd. - Public Image
10  (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
The Stranglers
11  Whip It
12  Lucky Number
Lene Lovich
13  Airport
The Motors
14  Money
Flying Lizards
15  Deutscher Girls
Adam And The Ants
16  Milk And Alcohol
Dr. Feelgood
17  Swords Of A Thousand Men
Tenpole Tudor
18  Rich Kids
Rich Kids
19  Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll
Ian Dury And The Blockheads
20  Blazing Apostles
Be Bop Deluxe

CD 2
1  You Can Always Find me In The Kitchen At Parties
Jona Lewie
2  Sleepwalk
3  Collapsing New People
Fad Gadget
4  Love Song
Simple Minds
5  Being Boiled
The Human League
6  Furniture Music
Bill Nelson
7  Say When
Lene Lovich
8  Let's Dance
Silicon Teens
9  Turning Japanese
The Vapors
10  Kebabtraume
11  Ghost Rider
12  Damaged Goods
Gang Of Four
13  5 Minutes
The Stranglers
14  Euthenics
Modern Eon
15  Eighties
Killing Joke
16  No Rest
New Model Army
17  Death Disco
Public Image Ltd.
18  Move On Up
Flying Lizards
19  Three Minute Hero
The Selecter
20  Offshore Banking Business
The Members

CD 3
1      Making Plans For Nigel
2  Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
3  Love Like Blood
Killing Joke
4  All About You
5  Echo Beach
Martha And The Muffins
6  (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear
7  Forget About You
The Motors
8  Everybody's Happy Nowadays
9  Outdoor Miner
10  Homicide
11  Alternative Ulster
Stiff Little Fingers
12  She's Not There
UK Subs
13  I'm An Upstart
Angelic Upstarts - Kids On The Street
14  (I'm) Stranded
The Saints
15  Through With You
Leyton Buzzards
16  Up Against The Wall
Tom Robinson Band
17  Pogo Dancing
Chris Spedding & The Vibrators
18  Money Talks
19  On The Streets Again
Cockney Rejects
20  Reconnez Cherie
Wreckless Eric

CD 4
1  My Sharona
The Knack
2  2-4-6-8 Motorway
Tom Robinson Band
3  Sixty Eight Guns
The Alarm
4  Tell That Girl To Shut Up
Holly And The Italians
5  News At Ten
The Vapors
6  Starry Eyes
The Records
7  Masquerade
The Skids
8  Emergency
9  The Pose
Chris Spedding
10  Love And A Molotov Cocktail
The Flys
11  She Does It Right
Dr. Feelgood
12  Little Girl
The Banned
13  Solid Gold Easy Action
Department S
14  Mony Mony
Celia & The Mutations
15  What A Waste
Ian Dury And The Blockheads
16  Friday Night, Saturday Morning
The Specials
17  Let's Do The Rock Steady
18  Tears Of A Clown
The Beat
19  The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)
The Fun Boy Three
20  My Way Of Thinking

CD 5
1  Whole Wide World
Wreckless Eric
2  This Perfect Day
The Saints
3  Suspect Device
Stiff Little Fingers
4  Staring At The Rude Boys
The Ruts
5  Oh Bondage Up Yours!
X-Ray Spex
6  Don't Dictate
7  Turn Me On Turn Me Off
Honey Bane
8  Ghosts Of Princes In Towers
Rich Kids
9  I Found That Essence Rare
Gang Of Four
10  I Am The Fly
11  Touch And Go
12  Jocko Homo
13  They Came And Took Her
14  Back to Nature
Fad Gadget
15  Strange Boutique
The Monochrome Set
16  Plastic Surgery
Adam And The Ants
17  Kids On The Street
Angelic Upstarts
18  I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
The Cockney Rejects
19  Warhead
UK Subs
20  Butcher Baby
The Plasmatics
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