“The Eighties,” compiled and edited by Dave Hendersen and Gillian Short, is a give-away CD that comes with the August issue of the enterprising British music monthly Q, which sells as an import for $8.50 at Barnes & Nobles stores here in the U.S.
The joy of listening to the 15 tracks on this album has to do with not only discovering (or rediscovering) a terrific line-up of established and emerging British bands, but hearing ’80s radio standards stripped of their cheesy, breathless radio context and made to stand on their own as simply great, surprisingly enduring songs.
Among the stand-outs: The Futureheads’ “Let’s Dance,” which amps up the synth-pop angularity of the Bowie standard, Neal Casal’s quietly soulful, jazzy cover of Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Wishing Well,” and Clayhill’s “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want”—which, minus Morrissey’s sardonic edge, sounds newly, convincingly mournful.
But the iPod-worthiest track is The Boy Least Likely To’s sweet, cheery, poppy, acoustic cover (complete with banjo!) of “Faith,” which makes George Michael’s breakout solo hit sound like a lost-classic Coca-Cola jingle that could have given “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” a run for its money.
“>LISTEN (for free) to the “Faith” MP3 (Note: This link has since expired.)
“>BUY the August issue of Q at Barnes & Nobles [not available online]
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