David Brider (davidbrider) wrote,
David Brider
davidbrider

Alternative to what, exactly?

I don't make a big secret of the fact that I love music. And for me, the period that can't be beaten for music is the 1980s. There was - IMHO - some really great stuff out there during that particular decade, and it's the decade I really started listening to pop music seriously. So often, when I'm in motorway services, I'll buy one of those multi-disc compilations of '80s music to add to my already bulging collection. Yesterday I noticed, and eagerly snapped up, a Ministry of Sound compilation, Anthems - Alternative '80s.

I can't fault it - it's great, a lovely little slab of tunes, some of which I have really fond memories of, some of which are rather new to me, and scanning the track list, only one of which I might be inclined to flick past through boredom.

I have, though, a couple of issues with the title.

One is the fact that it's called Alternative '80s. Okay, this isn't a major issue, but from what I can tell at least a couple of the songs hail from the 1970s instead. Like I say, not a massive flaw, but I'm a pedant so I notice these things.

The other is the fact that it's called Alternative '80s. 'Cos to me, "Alternative" kind of implies some way off the mainstream, songs that maybe made the indie charts but wouldn't be terribly well known amongst the general record-buying public.

However...Here's the track listing of the album. Aside each song, I've neatly annotated the chart position each song achieved in the regular, ordinary, UK singles chart:

1 - Lullaby - The Cure (5)
2 - Do you really want to hurt me - Culture Club (1)
3 - Poison Arrow - ABC (6)
4 - Love Plus One - Haircut 100 (3)
5 - Rio - Duran Duran (9)
6 - Here Comes The Rain Again - Eurythmics (8)
7 - Shout - Tears for Fears (4)
8 - Shout to the Top - The Style Council (7)
9 - Digging Your Scene - The Blow Monkeys (12)
10 - Real Gone Kid - Deacon Blue (8)
11 - Come Live With Me - Heaven 17 (5)
12 - Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On) - Spandau Ballet (3)
13 - Talking Loud and Clear - OMD (11)
14 - And She Was - Talking Heads (17)
15 - My Perfect Cousin - The Undertones (9)
16 - E=MC2 - Big Audio Dynamite (11)
17 - (This is not a) Love Song - Public Image Limited (5)
18 - Senses Working Overtime - XTC (10)
19 - Go Wild In the Country - Bow Wow Wow (7)
20 - Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag - Pigbag (3)

1 - Town Called Malice - The Jam (1)
2 - Call Me - Blondie (1)
3 - How Soon is Now - The Smiths (24)
4 - Ashes to Ashes - David Bowie (1)
5 - Ziggy Stardust - Bauhaus (15)
6 - Pretty in Pink - The Psychedelic Furs (18)
7 - Eloise - The Damned (3)
8 - Rise - Public Image Limited (11)
9 - Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick - Ian Dury (1)
10 - Antmusic - Adam and The Ants (2)
11 - Ghost Town - The Specials (1)
12 - One In Ten - UB40 (7)
13 - Johnny Come Home - Fine Young Cannibals (8)
14 - It Ain't What You Do It's The Way That You Do It - Fun Boy Three (4)
15 - Baggy Trousers - Madness (3)
16 - The Tears of A Clown - The Beat (6)
17 - Thinking of You - The Colourfield (12)
18 - Swords Of A 1000 Men - Tenpole Tudor (6)
19 - I Want To Be Free - Toyah (8)
20 - Theme For Great Cities - Simple Minds (Non single release?)

1 - Geno - Dexy's Midnight Runners (1)
2 - The Whole of the Moon - The Waterboys (28 - original; 3 - rerelease)
3 - Running up that Hill (A Deal with God) - Kate Bush (3)
4 - Perfect - Fairground Attraction (1)
5 - Somewhere in my Heart - Aztec Camera (3)
6 - Happy Hour - The Housemartins (3)
7 - Rip It Up - Orange Juice (8)
8 - Road to Nowhere - Talking Heads (6)
9 - Church of the Poison Mind - Culture Club (2)
10 - Is There Something I Should Know? - Duran Duran (1)
11 - Labour of Love - Hue and Cry (6)
12 - House of Fun - Madness (1)
13 - Our Lips are Sealed - Fun Boy Three (7)
14 - Red Red Wine - UB40 (1)
15 - Don't Call Me Baby - Voice of the Beehive (15)
16 - Echo Beach - Martha and the Muffins (10)
17 - A New England - Kirsty MacColl (7)
18 - They Don't Know - Tracey Ullman (2)
19 - Since Yesterday - Strawberry Switchblade (5)
20 - Love Changes (Everything) - Climie Fisher (2)

Quick tot-up...I make that 11 number ones. That's over a sixth of the whole album! Of the remainder, only 12 failed to make the top 10 (I'm including The Whole of the Moon in that, 'cos it only made the top 10 on its 1991 re-release), and only three failed to make the top 20. Like I said, some great tunes, but I wouldn't really call most of them "alternative" in any meaningful sense... Similarly, there's tracks on the two "Electronic 80s" compilations which aren't really electronic.

Mind you, I find some of the track juxtapositions interesting...Shout followed by Shout to the Top, Talking Loud and Clear followed by a song by Talking Heads</b>, Ashes to Ashes followed by Bauhaus' cover of Ziggy Stardust, and Kirsty's A New England followed by Tracey Ullman's cover of Kirsty's They Don't Know...

Oh well. Not bad bang for your buck. Or at least for your £10.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic
  • 4 comments