Columbia Germany's Dream Dance series compiles up-to-date club music, providing around 40 tracks in each two-disc package. Although a fair percentage of the tracks included were bona fide dancefloor hits, there's a great deal of nondescript fluff surrounding them, making the sets ideal only for the most patient fan of trance and progressive house. Dream Dance, Vol. 3 includes Faithless' "Salva Mea," Magnetic Pulstar's "Secret Love," Love and Fate's "Love and Fate, Pt. 2," Moby's "Go," Groove Solution's "Sweet Melodies," Paul Van Dyk's "Beautiful Place," Blue Alphabet's "Cybertance," Futura Nostra's "Why Don't You Dance With Me," Jam & Spoon's "Right in the Night," and Red 5's "Da Beat Goes."
Columbia Germany's Dream Dance series compiles up-to-date club music, providing around 40 tracks in each two-disc package. Although a fair percentage of the tracks included were bona fide dancefloor hits, there's a great deal of nondescript fluff surrounding them, making the sets ideal only for the most patient fan of trance and progressive house. Dream Dance, Vol. 1 includes Faithless' "Insomnia," Moby's "Hymn," Robotnico III's "Can You Feel the Beat," Jam & Spoon's "Stella," Westbam's "Celebration Generation," Groove Solution's "Magic Melody," Zhi-Vago's "Celebrate the Love," Onda del Futuro's "Terra '95," Cosmic Baby's "Loops of Infinity," and Members of Mayday's "The Day X."
A&M's 1977 collection The Best of Joan Baez doesn't chronicle her most influential work, but that doesn't mean it's not without merit. Far from it, actually. This is a concise recapping of her poppier recordings for A&M, which include such classic Baez moments as her original "Diamonds and Rust" and a definitive reading of Robbie Robertson's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." The rest of the album splits the difference between covers (including Stevie Wonder's lovely "I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer" and Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate") and originals, providing an entertaining, enlightening encapsulation of her '70s recordings.
Buddha's Sho Nuff Groove: The Best of Harvey Mason is an excellent 12-track compilation, featuring all of the fusion musician's biggest crossover smooth jazz and lite funk hits, including "Marching on the Street," "Set It Free," "Till You Take My Love," "What's Going On," "Liquid," "Don't Doubt My Lovin'," "How Does It Feel," and the 12-inch mix of "Groovin' You." This doesn't give a full picture of his talents as a sideman and producer, but it is a concise chronicle of his solo recordings and a welcome addition to his catalog.
Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys make up Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, who were responsible for some of the catchiest and brightest synth pop that the '80s had to offer. O.M.D.'s material was a step above other keyboard pop music of the time, thanks to the combination of intelligently crafted hooks and colorful rhythms that bounced and jittered with pristine charm. Their squeaky-clean brilliancy initiated by both their synthesizers and subdued yet attractive vocal styles gave them a more mature sound over bands like Duran Duran and A Flock of Seagulls, who were attracting a younger audience. The Best of O.M.D. is an excellent compilation of their polished music, starting out with less provocative material like the basic electronic wash of "Electricity" and the bare but ebullient fervor of "Enola Gay." As this set moves along, so does the craftiness of their work, which is evident on tighter sounding songs like "Tesla Girls" and "Locomotion," where the intricacy of their formula begins to take a more resounding shape. O.M.D.'s best work came from 1985's Crush album, which harbored the midnight airiness found in "So in Love" as well as the adolescent innocence that streamed its way through "Secret," which are two of the best tracks on this set.