Ministry of Sound Chilled Electronic '80s

Review: Chilled Electronic ’80s

So has Ministry of Sound finally given up on modern music like the rest of us and thrown its entire weight behind an ongoing series of themed compilations of old music? That’s certainly how it seems as, after at least three volumes of their Electronic ’80s series (and a couple of ’90s and non-specific “anthems” sets for good measure), their latest set refines the genre even further.

You would expect Chilled Electronic ’80s to do exactly what it says on the tin: three CDs of downbeat electronica released between 1/1/80 and 31/12/89. Of course it’s not as simple as that, and the set contains much which fulfills only two of the three criteria, some which only scores one out of three, and at least one track which is none of the above. Of course it does hit the bullseye on numerous occasions, with obvious crowdpleasers like Soft Cell’s Say Hello Wave Goodbye, Ultravox’s Vienna and the Human League’s Human rubbing shoulders with less predictable fare such as Japan’s Ghosts, the Cocteau Twins’ Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops and Yello’s Of Course I’m Lying.

Inevitably, with three CDs to fill, there are a few tracks that don’t completely fit the bill: the Pretenders’ I Go To Sleep and the Cure’s Lullaby are chilled but not really electronic, and while New Order would seem an inevitable inclusion, they are represented here by Regret which is neither particularly chilled nor electronic, and nor is it from the ’80s. (Could you really not licence Thieves Like Us?) Still, over the course of sixty tracks, the set sticks fairly closely to the specification, there isn’t really a duff track and the overall effect is mainly electronic, predominately chilled and essentially ’80s.

9/10

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