Various Artists

Pure '80s: #1s

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The blessing and curse of '80s compilations is the wide variety, quantity, and quality of music that was issued during the decade. On one hand, the diversity of styles and tunes led to a cultural treasure chest of anthems permanently entrenched in popular culture. But on the other hand, it's tough to narrow down just exactly what constitutes a definitive compilation documenting the decade. Hundreds of budget-line compilations have tried and many have failed. However, Pure '80s: 1s gets a passing grade, featuring 18 hits from the decade of excess, all of them reaching number one on the charts, including the Police's romantic ode to stalking "Every Breath You Take," Survivor's sports anthem "Eye of the Tiger," and Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon," among others. It's a nice selection ideal in a wide variety of environments from background listening to party soundtrack (be sure to skip the ballads, though). You could do far worse than this compilation. ~ Rob Theakston, Rovi

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