The Best That I Could Do is an appropriately self-deprecating title for John Mellencamp's greatest-hits collection, considering that the heartland rocker never seemed too convinced of his own worth. Of course, he had to struggle to get any respect after he was saddled with the stage name Johnny Cougar early in his career, but this 14-track collection proves that he was one of the best, unabashed straight-ahead rockers of the '80s. The 14 tracks here actually turn out to be a little too short to contain all of his great singles – songs like "Rain on the Scarecrow," "Rumbleseat," "Pop Singer," "Again Tonight," and "What If I Came Knocking"…
Blancmange is a perfect band for a compilation: it was only around for three albums, so there's not a lot of material to pick and choose from (meaning that many fan favorites will fall by the wayside), and all three albums are spotty enough that buying Second Helpings: The Best of Blancmange is a quick and neat way to get pretty much all of the high points. (That said, it would have been nice if the atmospheric instrumental "Sad Day" from 1982's Happy Families had made the cut.) The duo's three best singles, the propulsive "Blind Vision" (featuring Neil Arthur's most manic vocals), the boppy and Erasure-like "That's Love, That It Is" (the closest the duo ever got to a U.S. hit), and the hypnotic, Middle Eastern-flavored "Living on the Ceiling" (an '80s weekend radio staple even though it wasn't much of a hit at the time), are all present and accounted for, as are their other singles and a smattering of quality album tracks. A simple "all meat no filler" compilation, Second Helpings: The Best of Blancmange is just about all the Blancmange most people will ever need.
She's blonde…she's beautiful…she's Deborah Harry! Best known as the vocalist and focal point for the NY New Wave/Punk band Blondie, Deborah continued to record memorable albums under her own name after her band imploded in the early '80s. This collection features the cream of the solo years and includes great tracks like 'I Want That Man', 'The Jam Was Moving', 'Rush Rush', 'French Kissin' In The USA' and her collaborative contribution with Iggy Pop to 1990's Red, Hot & Blue AIDS charity album, 'Well… Did You Evah!'. 18 tracks including a few bonus remixes of 'I Want That Man'.
The Best of Chuck Mangione collects various tracks from the smooth jazz pioneer's '80s Columbia recordings. While not as influential as Mangione's '70s output, his '80s albums retain much of what made him so popular an artist – catchy hooks, lush production and his clear, crisp trumpet sound. Included are such standout tracks as "Journey to a Rainbow," "Love Bug Boogie" and "Memories of Scirocco." Oddly, a live version of "Land of Make Believe" and the single version of "Feels So Good" make it on to this collection. These '70s hits don't really belong here, but should satisfy casual fans looking for his most popular recordings alongside his mid-career stuff.
This journey through the decade takes viewers from a time of just three channels, when TV beauty contests and TOTP’s Legs & Co cavorting in next to nothing ruled the airwaves – all the way through to the worst TV awards ceremony of all time and the insane beginnings of ‘Yoof’ TV. Along the way, we gained a fourth channel, a kids' TV music show called The Minipops, TV’s worst ever sitcom, abysmal new soaps, toe-curling chat shows, disastrous ‘live’ performances, The Hitman & Her – and Anthea Turner having her head set on fire. Of course, for viewers, the disasters can be hugely entertaining – and sometimes when TV went seemingly wrong, it actually helped rewrite the rulebook – if we hadn’t met a new breed of chef in Keith Floyd, we may never have had Gordon Ramsay.