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Chartbusting 80s : Volume 4 (DVD)

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I’m a sucker for the 80s – the clothes, the music, the movies, the fads, the fashions, the television, the trading cards, the paper money, the blue light discos, the mullet – so anything claiming to include ’36 classic 80s hits’ definitely gets pushed to the top of my ‘must review’ pile.


Josie, Survivor, The Chantoozies, Pseudo Echo, Cindy Lauper, Daryl Braithwaite, Climie Fisher, Kids in the Kitchen, Mondo Rock, Bobby McFerrin

I’m a sucker for the 80s – the clothes, the music, the movies, the fads, the fashions, the television, the trading cards, the paper money, the blue light discos, the mullet – so anything claiming to include ’36 classic 80s hits’ definitely gets pushed to the top of my ‘must review’ pile.

Glad I did put ‘Chartbusting 80’s: Volume 4’ to the top, too – its like being transported back to the mid 80s; for less than the price of a trip on H.G Well’s thingamewatchit. There’s a bunch of good stuff on here; Billy Ocean, Cindy Lauper, Mondo Rock, Bobby McFerrin, Banamarama, The Chantoozies, Kids in Kitchen; Pseudo Echo; Survivor… doing Eye of the Tiger…. Just superb. Memories of your first kiss; the time you had your hair coloured with spray; jumping and making the LPs skip and buying your first ‘cassingle’ will all come flooding back.

The disc, a ‘best bits’ of the Channel 31 show, is a great reminder of just how good – and just how bad (what the heck was with Pseudo Echo back then? Didn’t they see themselves in the frickin’ mirror? – Some of the music was back in the Hawke-era. Never again will we see such a great crop of music churn out over a length of time.

One thing you can’t overlook is that every film clip back then looked like it was made on the budget of a weekly mortgage repayment – there’s barely any production value in any of them. I shudder to think whether not-so-good-looking sorts like ‘Toto’ would even get a record deal these days…. They don’t look too pretty on camera, and considering video clips are what sell the songs these days, that would pretty much see talented-but-terribly-unattractive types summoned to either their local RSL or an independent label. But that’s what I loved about the 80s… you didn’t need to be pretty or handsome, you just needed to be able to play an instrumental well and/or have a killer voice… ah, those were the days.

The 2-disc set is organised as follows 1) the first disc contains all the music clips plus introductions from the show’s host. You may wish to simply skip the introductions and just watch the clips back-to-back. 2) The second disc includes some live performances of has-been acts singing live in the Channel 31 studios; folks like Pseudo Echo and Mondo Rock (Ross Wilson’s still got a great voice).

The only downfall of this collection is the quality of the film clips. None of them have been remastered at all, they’re all in their original form, so quality varies from clip to clip. For instance, the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ clip looks like it’s been dubbed from a BETA to a DVD-Rom drive and back to DVD, whereas ‘Cruel Summer’ from Banamarama looks rather good. Most importantly though, the audio is fairly good on every one of them.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris

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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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